Tourism: again in the peephole

Tourism: again in the peephole
Fecha de publicación: 
15 May 2023
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Coming back to an already discussed topic may take you to repeat yourself and this is not the ideal. The Cuban government’s ratification that the country will insist on the development of tourism, as well as the news that Cuba welcomed one million visitors in the first days of May, leads us to look again to the so-called leisure industry.

It was at the 41st International Tourism Fair FITCuba 2023 where Juan Carlos García Granda —Minister of Tourism in Cuba— confirmed the news. The goal is to reach 3.5 million visitors by the end of December.

I will briefly refer to this number with a group of adjectives, but we should not expect to reach that number of visitors. As in 2022, the present plan looks unreachable. Respectfully, if we analyze dates, deadlines, and especially the panorama inside the country and abroad, it does not look feasible.

Once the pandemic has been controlled at home and with the resuming of our social and economic life, the Cuban tourism faces the daily tightening of the economic, commercial and financial US blockade, foreign exchange deficit, excessive inflation, media war also promoted by Washington and some other difficulties that lacerate the daily coexistence of Cubans.

Actually, the leisure industry is still one of main strength in collecting the financial resources help alleviate part of these problems and revive other industries such as food.

As the transit of cruise ships was shut down due the US extraterritorial interference, we depend solely on the arrival of airline travelers, whose number urgently needs to grow in quantity and frequency. Consequently, a separate session was held with 51 representatives of airline companies in the recently concluded Fair. There were commitments that envision more capacities, more passenger land not only in the Cuban capital, but also in Varadero and the center and east side of the country.

We need such connections so that potential tourists come into contact with the attributes of the Island: security, political stability, hospitality, happy people, culture, history, heritage, tourism in modalities ranging from the traditional sun and beach to tours, health and quality of life, ecotourism and adventure.

Canada has regained its prior-Covid-19 number of visitors, totally different from Europe where the economic crisis and the war throw overboard any hopes of reaching the 2019-levels. All these show how much we need to improve in this dynamic field, affected by changes but capable of readjusting and tread the right path again.

We have been hearing since 2022 that 2023 would be the year of recovery of the leisure industry in Cuba, hard to predict, especially when it was impossible to foresee the different problems faced by the National Electric System and the delay in the arrival of ships with fuel and food.

It is clear that the case of Cuba is different: either we survive or we survive. There is no choice and there are only alternatives: everything that may guarantee the fuel to start up the economy, which is very much-needed to shed incomes all over the rest of links.

At FITCuba's farewell, it was announced that its 42nd edition will take place in Jardines del Rey, just a year from now, dedicated to Latin America and the Caribbean, in a closer approach to our natural geographic environment where relations have been on the rise —seek more vacationers from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia—, as it has happened with world’s powers such as Russia and China.

The echoes of the annual Fair were still hanging in the air, when the meeting of ministers of the Group-77 plus China was held, attended by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Central Committee of the Party and President of the Republic of Cuba.

On that occasion and in a keynote speech, Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, highlighted the benefits that distinguish the island in this regard and confirmed the sustainable tourism recovery after COVID-19, but in an environment-friendly way.

Cuba has shown that it has the capacity to cope with great challenges and 2023 is the perfect scenario to grow again.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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