Havana, Oct 27 (EFE) .- Cuba received a total of 114,460 international travelers in the first half of 2021, representing 870,739 fewer visitors than in the same period in 2020, according to the latest data published by the National Statistics Office and Information (Onei).
Most of the visitors came from Russia – with 72,304 travelers – which has become the main source of tourists to the island during the covid-19 pandemic.
It is followed by the Cuban community residing abroad, which registered 12,207 travelers between January and June, who arrived mainly from countries such as the United States (7,258), Spain (2,393), Mexico (658), France (473), Panama (462) , Bahamas (344) and Germany (218).
The remaining travelers came from Germany, from where 4,719 tourists arrived; others traveled from Spain (3,753); Canada (2,296), Philippines (2,017), Italy (1,680), United States (1,565), France (1,511), Ukraine (1,070) and United Kingdom (1,061).
Regarding the reasons for travel, it specifies that 99,669 were tourists who visited the country for leisure, recreation and vacations; 1,843 did so for business and professional reasons; 45 for events; and 12,903 for other reasons.
The report recalls that during 2020 Cuba received just over a million visitors and in 2019 it reached more than 4.2 million.
Cuba announced a total reopening to tourism as of November 15 with reduced anticovid measures that eliminate the mandatory quarantine after arrival and an increase in international air connections.
Before the pandemic, tourism represented the second official source of foreign exchange income – only behind the sale of professional services abroad – and contributed about 10% of the gross domestic product.
The Caribbean country intended to receive about 4.5 million international visitors last year and reverse the fall of 9.3% in 2019, when 4.2 million tourists traveled to the country, 436,352 less than in 2018, according to data officers. EFE