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Amidst the pandemic of the new coronavirus, tourist arrivals to Cuba decreased by 95.5% during the months of January and February compared to the same period last year, said academic and university professor José Luis Perelló in an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua on Monday.
"During the first two months of 2021, some 35,600 international travelers arrived on the island, representing 4.5% of the 792,507 foreign visitors totaled at the end of February 2020," the specialist reported.
Perelló commented that the revival of tourism in Cuba would depend on the control of the pandemic at the domestic level and the success of the vaccination processes in Canada, Spain, Germany, England, and France, the main markets that send tourists to the country.
"In the midst of the pandemic, the arrival of tourists to #Cuba decreased by 95.5 percent during the months of January and February compared to the same period last year, academic and university professor José Luis Perelló said Monday."
The Ministry of Tourism reported in early 2021 that just over one million international travelers arrived in Cuba last year, well below the 4.5 million expected before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.
Cuba surpassed the one million tourist figure in 1996. It reached a record 4.7 million visitors at the close of 2017, even with the strengthened U.S. blockade during the Trump Administration's first year.
Before detecting the first cases of COVID-19 in the country, the tourism industry accounted for more than 10% of the Cuban gross domestic product.