Havana - Cuban tourism grew during the first quarter of this year at a rate of 7.2 percent of foreign arrivals, the minister of the industry, Manuel Marrero, was quoted as saying by the Cuban News Agency (ACN).
The growth slightly exceeds the predictions with view to reach the five million mark by the end of this year.
Marrero said that despite the complex situations facing the country, the number of tourists exceeds one million 800 thousand. The year for European visitors began slow, a fact not only in Cuba, because there is a decrease in the visitors from Europe to the whole Caribbean for several reasons, he explained.
Despite this, the flow of tourists from Canada, the island's main market, grew and from other markets such as Russia are increasing, too, he added.
Marrero pointed out that all the necessary publicity and promotion have been done in an effort to augment the number of arrivals in 2019.
Despite defamatory campaigns, many of the tourists who arrive in the country claim they chose this destination for safety.
In addition, they recognize this as a territory where there is no organized crime, kidnappings do not occur, and you can go out quietly and safely at any time.
The minister recalled that this is the only country in the world in which US citizens can not do tourism freely, only through any of the 12 licenses authorized.
From May 7 to 11, Havana will be the scene (Morro-Cabaña fortress) of the 39th edition of the International Tourism Fair (FITCuba 2019), a meeting that has already created a wide expectation, especially among tour operators and travel agents from around the world.