And The Beat Goes On


When will Cuba’s tourism growth taper off? Well, predicts Eloy Govea, the Cuba Tourist Board’s new director for English-speaking Canada, no time soon.

In this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier, staff writer, Ian Stalker reports that the remarkable growth the country has seen over the past two decades – with the country routinely posting double-digit annual increases – culminated in its hosting 2.8 million foreigners last year and Govea says Cuba is hoping for three million this year. That would amount to something of a slowing compared to some other years, but would still amount to an increase at a time when many of its rival destinations are struggling.

Canada continues to fuel much of the growth, with 1.1 million Canadian visitations last year and the tourist office hoping for 1.2 million this year. There’s been over 900,000 visitations to date, which amounts to 4.5% growth.

“Canada surprises us every time,” Govea says. “When you think you have reached the limit, you see more Canadians.”

Canada is the island’s biggest source of tourists, with the second largest market – expatriate Cubans – far behind.

Govea notes that his homeland continues to add hotels, with next month, for instance, seeing Melia opening a 1,176-room property in Jardines del Rey. It will be Melia’s 27th property in Cuba.

Openings are happening in different parts of the island, with the Trinidad area – found on the southeast coast – slated to gain three hotels, two of which will be oceanfront properties likely managed by Spanish chain Iberostar.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.