Cuba Will Focus on China at Its Next International Tourism Fair

More than 1,500 foreign participants attended the FITCuba, held at the tourist center of the Jardines del Rey Islands / Ministry of Tourism of Cuba

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 5 May 2024 — The 42nd edition of the International Tourism Fair of Cuba (FITCuba), the main event for the tourism sector on the Island, closes its activities this Sunday with the announcement that China will be the guest country in its 2025 edition, according to state media. The FITCuba, held at the tourist center of the Jardines del Rey Islands – Cuba’s second destination for sun and beach after Varadero – was attended by more than 1,500 foreign participants, including 437 travel agents, to explore and do business, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Granda, explained that the special invitation to China for the next FITCuba is part of the promotion of relations and tourism between the two countries.

He highlighted the resumption of direct flights between Beijing and Havana, operated by Air China, with its inaugural trip scheduled for May 17, with a stopover in Madrid.

García Granda also announced at the closing of the event the decision of the Cuban authorities to establish a visa exemption for Chinese citizens with ordinary passports.

China’s ambassador to Cuba, Ma Hui, participated in the FITCuba 2024 / Cubadebate

“FITCuba has been the right time to show the renewal of our tourism product, the digitization of processes to improve the customer experience, the expansion of renewable energy sources, the transformation of our products with more accessibility, respectful of the environment and in line with the country’s commitment to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. On the eve of the Fair, the official media celebrated the arrival of the first million foreign visitors to the Island in 2024.

They also confirmed the goal of reaching 3.2 million tourists at the end of the year with the aim of achieving a resurgence in a key sector for the national economy that is going through a critical situation.

The tourism sector is the second highest contributor to Cuba’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the third source of foreign exchange, after professional services and remittances, according to estimates by various independent experts.

Cuba received 2.4 million tourists in 2023, a figure that represented a growth of more than 800,000 visitors compared to 2022, when it did not achieve its goal of hosting 1.7 million, according to official data.

Tourism does not escape the deep crisis that has impacted Cuba for four years due to the confluence of the pandemic and design and implementation errors in national economic policies.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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