Canada sets pace in growth in Cuban tourism

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HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — Cuban tourism grew some 4 percent when 2.5 million people visited Cuba in 2010, with Canada leading the source countries with over one third of all tourists, according to a communiqué from the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR).

By December 25, Canadians had set a new record with 918 064 visitors, a slight increase from the previous year by that date, but showing a steady growth in the last few years.

Several Canadian airlines, including Sunwing Air Lines, Air Transat, Canjet, Air Canada and West Jet, along with Cubana de Aviacion connect the northern country with the ten main Cuban tourist centres, especially Varadero resort, some 130 kilometers east of Havana.

Some new direct flights were operated by Sunwing Airlines and Air Transat from Canada to Havana.

Their tour operators combined sent over half a million tourists. Other companies like Air Canada Vacations, Tour Mont-Royal, Hola Sun and WestJet Vacations also had significant growth.

According to MINTUR, this increase show the confidence Cuba is generating in that market, as well as negotiations underway with Canadian hotel chains and tour operators.

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