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The number of foreign visitors increased from 12,552 in March 2021 to 128,159 in March 2022.
On Tuesday, Cuba's Economy Minister Alejandro Gil announced that his country received 313,908 foreign tourists during the first quarter of the year, which indicates a gradual recovery of this economic sector.
To illustrate the magnitude of the economic expansion experienced thanks to the control of the pandemic on this Caribbean island, he indicated that the number of foreign visitors increased from 12,552 in March 2021 to 128,159 in March 2022.
"Each month this year, tourist activity grew compared to the previous month. Everything indicates that tourism will also be more dynamic in April," Gil said during a ministerial meeting.
In the first four months of 2021, 64,712 foreign tourists traveled to Cuba. This figure, however, represented just 6 percent of the 983,099 tourists who visited the island in the same period of 2020, according to data from the National Office of Statistics and Information of Cuba (ONEI).
As a result of the pandemic, tourism fell by 60 percent between 2020 and 2021, when only 573,944 international travelers visited Cuba. If the goals set by President Miguel Diaz-Canel are met, the Cuban economy will receive US$1.1 billion for the entry of 2.5 million visitors in 2022.
This Caribbean country reopened its borders in mid-November 2021, after the closure forced by the pandemic. Currently, tourism represents the second-largest item of the Cuban gross domestic product (GDP) and the second-largest source of foreign currency.
By Dec. 2022, the state tourism sector expects to have 84,906 new hotel rooms enabled, which represents an annual increase of 5.7 percent. Currently, Cuba is going through a difficult economic situation due to the tightening of the US blockade in the last 5 years.