Tourism crisis in Cuba dates back to before the pandemic

HAVANA.- Despite common perceptions about the negative impact of pandemic In the tourism industry, data reveal that crisis In the Cuban tourism sector it was already underway long before the arrival of COVID-19. According to an exhaustive analysis of trends and statistics, it is evident that the decline in tourism in Cuba It dates back several years before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Data collected by economic experts shows a significant decline in the number of tourists visiting the Caribbean island since 2017, long before the world faced the ravages of the global pandemic. During this period, Cuba experienced a steady decline in visitor numbers from several of its major source markets, including Canadian and European ones.

In particular, tourism from Canada, usually the largest source of visitors to Cuba, decreased by 13.9% until 2019 from its record level in 2015, representing a loss of more than 180,000 tourists in just four years. In 2022, Cuba will receive less than half (47.5%) of the Canadian visitors who arrived in 2019.

The analysis, according to the review Cuban Diaryalso highlights the decline in European tourism, with a reduction of 29.1% in the two years prior to the pandemic, between 2017 and 2019, which translates into a loss of almost 307,000 visitors during that period.

Other tourism segments

However, amid this decline, notable increases were recorded in other tourism segments. For example, him The number of visitors from the Cuban community living abroad grew almost 60% between 2015 and 2019with an arrival of approximately 234,000 more visitors compared to 2015.

Additionally, visitors from the United States experienced the largest growth pre-pandemic, with a 206% increase between 2015 and 2019.

These findings have led experts to question the common narrative that the pandemic was primarily responsible for Cuba’s tourism crisis. Although the arrival of COVID-19 exacerbated existing problems, it is clear that the Cuban tourism industry was already dealing with significant challenges long before the pandemic began.

As Cuba seeks to revitalize its tourism sector and once again attract international visitors, it is crucial that it addresses the structural and economic problems that contributed to this crisis.

FOUNTAIN: With information from Diario de Cuba