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Cuban Gov’t Looks to Add More Hotel Rooms

January 11, 2008

HAVANA – Cuban tourism authorities want to increase the number of hotel rooms in Havana, which annually hosts half of the more than 2 million tourists who visit the island, local media reported this week.

The representative of the Tourism Ministry in the Cuban capital, Ramon Zamora, said that the proposal is to be able to receive more tourists in the capital, which has very specific attractions that draw people from all over the world.

Havana brings in 33% of the country’s tourism income by hosting 50% of Cuba’s foreign visitors, and it has 12,325 rooms spread among 62 hotels, that is to say 27% of the country’s hotel rooms, according to official data.

Zamora said that in 2007, 1.3 million visitors from Spain, Mexico, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany, the main tourist-sending nations to Cuba, visited Havana, as per a report by the state-run Prensa Latina news agency.

He said that currently a program initiated in 2007 is being implemented to revamp the capital’s hotel infrastructure.

Cuba in 2007 received some 2 million tourists, and the Tourism Ministry said that tourism on the island was growing “at an accumulated rate of 6.3%.”

Canada is the main source of tourists for Cuba, with 600,000 of its citizens visiting the communist island each year, followed by Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom and Mexico, which together represent more than 60% of the tourist flow.

Tourism contributes more than $2 billion annually to the Cuban economy and employs, directly and indirectly, some 300,000 people.

 

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