14ymedio, Madrid, 19 January 2023 — The Cuban authorities may be moderately satisfied with the tourism data for December, which has finally allowed them not to arrive at, but at least to remain at the gates ,of their very poor annual projection. With 1,614,087 foreign visitors, according to a note published this Wednesday by the National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei), the Island remains almost 86,000 tourists from the goal.
The data for the last month of the year, traditionally one of the best for the sector, is very positive within the poor results achieved in recent years. With 236,862 international travelers, the Island exceeds the number of tourists reached in July by more than 80,000, a record for the year to date, with 152,430. However, the data is far from being at pre-pandemic levels.
In the last year before the pandemic with which to compare, 2019, almost 400,000 tourists arrived in Cuba in December, slightly less than in 2015. In 2016 and 2018, some 450,000 international travelers visited the island. And in 2017, when the country reached 4.6 million in total, 550,000 were reached in December alone, 132.5% more than this latest figure.
The Onei press release underlines that at the end of 2022, 452.8% more international visitors have been achieved than in 2021, the worst year of the pandemic in Cuba. But if it is compared with 2019, when the Island received 4,200,000 tourists, the difference is -61.57%, news that appears on the day that the main media on the Balearic island of Mallorca, in Spain, talk about a visit from the consul of Barcelona, Alejandro Castro Medina, who affirms that the Island has recovered pre-pandemic levels.
By country, Canadians once again led the annual ranking with 532,487, followed by the Cuban community abroad, with 333,191. The drop in Russian visitors stands out, strongly influenced by the restrictions on flights following the sanctions for the invasion of Ukraine, but also by the loss of interest in this market.
In 2022, only 54,383 Russians traveled to the island, well below the Spanish (83,025) or even the Germans (58,715). The contrast is striking when compared to the previous year, when Russians were the only buoyant market with 146,151, a number almost double the 68,944 Canadians.
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