Cuba received in the first seven months of the year 834,891 international visitorsfive times more than in the same period of 2021, according to official data released this Saturday.
The National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei) reported that 693,592 foreign tourists traveled to Cuba more than from January to July of last year, when only 141,299 arrived.
Most of the visitors came from Canada, the United States, Spain, Russia, Germany, England, France, Italy and Mexico, the source said.
“During the first seven months of the year, 1,200,580 travelers visited the largest of the Antilles, a growth of 552.3% compared to the same stage in 2021,” Onei specified.
However, the figures are still far from the more than 2 million that arrived in the first six months of 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cuban authorities expect the arrival of 2.5 million tourists by 2022, a figure that experts consulted by EFE have questioned whether it can be achieved with the current trend.
According to official calculations, the Cuban economy would receive 1,159 million dollars (1,012 million euros) if it manages to reach that number of visitors.
Before the pandemic, in 2018 and 2019, Cuba attracted between 4 and 5 million international travelers a year.
Tourism represents the second largest item of gross domestic product (GDP) and its second largest source of foreign currency.