HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — By the end of October, 703,519 cruise passengers had arrived in Cuba, a growth of almost 117,000 compared to the previous year, said Manuel Marrero Cruz, minister of tourism.
During a meeting with workers in the sector, the minister noted that this sector is trending upward.
According to Cruz, the majority of visitors come from the United States and Europe.
Despite the achievement, arrivals were affected by the measures adopted by the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the return of his country to the policy of isolation from Cuba, which has caused a considerable decrease in travelers from the northern nation, he said.
In 2017, 586,710 cruise passengers arrived, a number that at the time represented an exponential growth in this area, and already in 2018 the figure has been surpassed.
For years, Cuba remained excluded from cruise routes because of restrictions imposed by the US embargo, until 2016, under the administration of former President Barack Obama, the US Treasury Department granted exceptional permits that boosted the industry.
As the ministry of tourism (MINTUR) reports show, the number of international visitors to Cuba has experienced a sustained growth in the last five years and, among them, cruising presents one of the most noteworthy recoveries.
Meanwhile, the exceptional character of Cuba as a tourist destination has been praised by representatives of several cruise companies worldwide, to the point that the Norwegian Cruise Lines notified that the island and its capital became its preferred destination in 2017, even above Barcelona, Venice or Miami.