Cuba tourism increases 8pc
Campaign News | Friday, 7 January 2005
Canadians top list of visitors
HAVANA Jan 6 - Tourism to Cuba increased eight per cent in 2004 compared to 2003, with Canadians topping the list of visitors, followed by Europeans primarily from Italy, France, Germany and Spain.
The rise occurred despite new U.S. restrictions sharply cutting back on how many Americans visit the island.
More than two million tourists visited the Caribbean island, the largest number ever, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero announced. Last year, about 1.9 million foreigners visited Cuba.
Marrero told reporters tourism now represents 41 per cent of Cuba's foreign exchange income - a leap from just four per cent in 1990.
Few of those now visiting Cuba come from the United States.
By mid-September, visits to the island, primarily by Cuban-Americans, had dropped 25 per cent since the United States implemented new travel restrictions June 30 cutting the number of authorized family visits to Cuba from once a year to once every three years.