Above a Royalton resort in Cuba
By the Caribbean Journal staff
In light of the recent rapprochement between the United States and Cuba, many wonder about the future of American tourism to Cuba, and what that will mean both for Cuba and for the rest of the region.
So we thought it might be helpful to show how many travelers are visiting Cuba, and where they come from.
Last year, just over 2.85 million people visited Cuba, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization, with that number on track to increase by about 3 percent for 2014.
So where do they come from?
We looked at the Cuban government’s 2013 data on tourism to the island, which was led easily by the Canadian market, with more than 1.1 million tourists in 2013, accounting for just under 39 percent of all tourists to Cuba, according to Cuba’s National Statistical Office.
The next largest source market was the United Kingdom, with 149,515 tourists accounting for 5.2 percent of all travelers to Cuba, followed by Germany, with 115,984 tourists accounting for 4.1 percent.
While travel to Cuba has generally been illegal for Americans except under certain licenses, there were actually 92,348 United States tourists to Cuba in 2013, according to Cuban government data.
All in all, the island’s source markets were rather broad, with 22 countries each sending at least 10,000 visitors to the island.
Of course, should the opening of the Cuban market actually reduce tourism to other parts of the region, perhaps the Caribbean can make a renewed push to compete for a share of the 2.5 million people who have already been traveling to the island.
See the full 2013 data set below, from Cuba’s National Statistical Office.