Fewer Than 150,000 Tourists in Cuba in the Worst September Other Than During the Pandemic

Canadian tourists in Havana’s Central Park this September. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 16 October 2023 —  The complete tourism data for the month of September has not yet been released, but thanks to a note published in Prensa Latina, the umpteenth failure of the sector on the Island has become known. The figures for last month barely added 147,380 international travelers. It is the worst figure so far this year, even fewer than in June, when the figure rose to 154,590.

The state agency released a note this Sunday in which it celebrates the good progress of Canadian tourism. In it, professor and researcher José Luis Perelló states that Cuba received 709,556 Canadian tourists, almost 40% of the total 1,813,972 visitors. As of August, with data from the National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei), 1,666,592 international travelers had arrived on the Island, of which 177,306 came in that month.

September and October are traditionally the worst months of the year for Cuban tourism, already on the verge of the high season, which begins in November. However, compared to other Septembers before the pandemic, the catastrophe is palpable. In 2017, international visitor arrivals were around 250,000, A year later – the best in memory for the sector – they stood at approximately 280,000, while in 2019, when the worsening of tourism for the Island began, the number reached 200,000, which is still over 50,000 more people than this year.

In the first nine months of the year, a total of 709,556 travelers arrived from Canada, which means that in that month 33,560 Canadians flew to the Island

On the positive side for the Cuban authorities is the Canadian data. In the first nine months of the year, a total of 709,556 travelers arrived from that country, with 33,560 Canadians flying to the Island in September. The number is lower than that recorded in August, when 45,955 Canadians arrived, but it is consistent with the global figure.

That would mean, pending developments in subsequent months, that the alert issued by the Canadian Government for its citizens to exercise caution when choosing this destination due to the “shortage of basic necessities, including food, medicine and fuel” has not had much impact to date. The measure, taken at the beginning of last month, was reinforced in an update issued on September 26.

According to information from Prensa Latina, between January and September there were 4,195 flights with 808,028 seats for sale to fly to Cuba between the companies Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, WestJet and Swoop.

The authorities still have not set a new tourist target for this year, more than two months after admitting that the planned 2.5 million will not be reached.


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