About four million tourists have visited Cuba in 2016, crushing its previous record in 2015 by 13 per cent in tourism revenue increases. The number of tourists had also exceeded expectations by 6 per cent according to Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism.
Analysts believe the warmed US-Cuba relations is likely responsible for the increased record. The Ministry of Tourism said that Europe and North America contributed heavily to the numbers — with many tourists wanting warmer climates, outdoor activities and water sports against the chilly winter season.
According to a Ministry Official, the higher numbers of tourists visiting Cuba would mean better service and maintenance of lodgings, historic sites and other industries. However, Cuba is in need of better lodging. The government may need to ramp up accommodations for tourists as it is the main impediment for Cuba’s tourism success.
Cuba’s tourism may also face heavy decline if US President-Elect Donald Trump makes good on his promise to create a Mexican wall, tighten regulation in the immigration and once again prop up the “Cold War” restrictions formerly lowered by US President Barack Obama — which helped warm ties between the two countries.
AirBnB has become the best way for foreign travelers to find lodging inside Cuba. But Cubans — since the era of former Communist leader Fidel Castro — have been allowed to advertise rooms and even entire properties for rent to foreigners.