Cuba’s tourist numbers continue to grow

The delegates on hand for the show were told by Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero that last year Cuba welcomed 2.5 million international visitors – that’s a first for the island and represents a 4.2% increase from 2009.

In the first four months of 2011, Cuba has seen an 11.9% increase in its tourist arrivals.

Officials also cited a number of other welcome developments, including new hotels offered by the likes of Sol Melia, Barcelo and Riu. Further new properties are in the works, with a five-star property being considered for Playa Ancon.

Cuba is also promoting a variety of attractions, with the island that first lured visitors with sun and beaches, now touting historical, cultural and natural draws.

Marrero also noted cruises that circle Cuba are now avavilable.

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Meanwhile, officials announced that the tourism show, which has long been held in Havana, will next year be held on Cayo Santa Maria.