Cuba hopes to break record of 5 million visitors in 2018

HAVANA – Cuba has achieved the landmark of 2 million international visitors in 2018, the Ministry of Tourism announced Tuesday.

“We received 2 million international visitors, despite the impact left by Hurricane Irma and the strengthening of the U.S. economic blockade, and especially the campaigns and measures aimed at hindering the trips by U.S. citizens to our country,” said the official statement.

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According to the ministry, this number of foreign visitors shows the confidence and recognition of tour operators, travel agencies, airlines and tourists in Cuba’s tourism market as well as the security in the Caribbean nation.

Canada and the European Union continue to be the main sources of foreign travelers, although the ministry hailed increases in arrivals from Russia, Mexico, Argentina, China and Brazil.

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Cuba’s potential to continue growing in tourism was highlighted by Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero in the recently concluded International Tourism Fair “FITCuba 2018.”

The nation welcomed 4.7 million tourists in 2017 but is hoping to break the record of 5 million visitors in 2018.

Tourism is Cuba’s second source of revenue behind medical services.