Tourism in Cuba at minimum levels
Tourism to Cuba is at minimum levels, reported the Cuban Office of Statistics and Information. During the year 2021, only 6.2% of tourists have arrived compared to 2019, a crisis that sinks the Cuban economy.
In 2021 Cuba has received 1.1 million fewer tourists than in 2020. Cuba also maintains flight restrictions for most of the neighboring countries, especially Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the United States, places from which the Cuban community travels in the outside.
Tourism had already been decreasing on the island due to United States sanctions and the exhaustion of the Cuban tourism model. In 2019, 436,000 fewer tourists arrived on the island than in 2018, according to official figures. The 506 hotels on the island, controlled by the military, had 60% of their beds empty during the year.
Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said in a meeting with executives that despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought down the arrival of tourists to the island and to most destinations worldwide, tourism will continue to be the driving force behind the Cuban economy..
Tourism and Economy
Tourism is one of the key areas of the Cuban economy and reported $ 2.6 billion to the island in 2019, the latest official statistics available. The lack of tourists, together with the debacle of the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela, have forced Cuba to stop paying its large external debt due to lack of liquidity. Food imports have also been reduced, manifesting in long lines to get food all over the island.
To try to reactivate the sector, the Cuban government opened two of its tourist poles to Russia and encourages the arrival of tourists from that nation to the country, a decision criticized by citizens. Russia is one of the countries with the lowest vaccination rate against COVID-19 in the world. Only 31% of its population is vaccinated, according to official figures.
Another reason that discourages the arrival of tourists is the social climate that has worsened during 2021 with street protests and demonstrations against the government.
Requirements to travel to Cuba
The tourists who have come to the island this year come mostly from Russia and Germany. To travel to Cuba, tourists must carry a negative PCR diagnostic test result printed on paper and dated 72 hours before arrival and once they land on the island undergo another mandatory PCR diagnostic test.
Those who are in hotels must remain there until they receive the negative result of the PCR practiced in Cuba and those who wish to be in private homes must undergo institutional isolation that will be paid for by the traveler.