The arrival of tourists to Cuba fell by 95.5% throughout the months of January and February in comparison with the identical period last yr, said academic and university professor José Luis Perelló this Monday.
“In the course of the first two months of 2021, some 35,600 international travelers arrived on the island, representing 4.5% of the 792,507 tourist arrivals at the tip of February 2020,” the specialist explained in an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua, cited by Cubadebate.
The recovery of the tourism sector in Cuba won’t only depend upon the control of the COVID-19 pandemic on the domestic level but, in Perelló’s opinion, it can even be contingent on the success of the vaccination processes in Canada, Spain, Germany, England and France, the predominant source markets for tourists to the island.
The expert also explained that the eventual return to normality of international tourism after “the hard blow” brought on by the health emergency relies on the recovery of travelers’ income, and of the aeronautical sector.
“People might be immunized and never have the income to travel,” he sentenced.
Ministro cubano de Turismo llega “optimista” a la Feria de Moscú
In 2020, Cuba received just over 1,000,000 international travelers, a figure well below the 4.5 million expected before the looks of SARS-CoV-2.
In accordance with official statistics, the island surpassed the figure of a million tourists in 1996, and reached 4.7 million visitors at the tip of 2017, amid the rise within the U.S. embargo/blockade throughout the first yr of the Trump administration, the source said.
The tourism sector represented greater than 10% of Cuba’s GDP before the crisis brought on by the pandemic as of March 2020.
Within the midst of this difficult situation, international firms based on the island have also been affected. Initially of March, the Spanish hotel chain Meliá confirmed the tip of the management of three of its 35 hotels in Cuba on account of its “few business opportunities.”
The corporate explained in its 2020 Management Report that “making an allowance for its few business opportunities and the operational problems faced lately, within the last quarter of the yr the Sol Cayo Guillermo (268 rooms), Meliá Cayo Guillermo (301) and Sol Cayo Largo (296) hotels were disaffiliated.”
Meliá deja tres hoteles en Cuba por “escasas oportunidades comerciales”
Thus, in comparison with the 35 hotels it had in Cuba (14,781 rooms) within the portfolio at the tip of 2019, at the tip of 2020 it was left with 32 establishments with 13,916 rooms.
Meliá’s revenues on the Island fell 84% in 2020, to 1.9 million euros (2.2 million dollars), with a 33.4% drop in occupancy, to 31%. Before taxes, the corporate lost 3.9 million euros (4.6 million dollars) in Cuba, where 60% of its hotels were closed for much of the yr on account of the pandemic.