Canada’s Love Affair With Cuba Keeps Growing
By Jim Byers
Canadians just can’t get enough of Cuba.
The Cuba Tourist Board of Canada on Tuesday announced that Cuba has officially welcomed more than a million Canadian visitors over the course of the 2018 travel season. The confirmation of this impressive statistic follows similarly strong results from 2017 and highlights the enduring appeal of Cuba as a top destination for Canadian travellers.
“We are both excited and humbled to have had the opportunity to accommodate so many guests in 2018” said Eloy Govea, Director of the Cuba Tourist Board. “Cuba continues to be an exciting, dynamic destination rich in culture, cuisine, and—of course—beautiful beaches.
“We look forward to sharing the unique spirit of Cuba with more of our Canadian friends in 2019,” he said.
The strong travel results come as a product of a dedicated effort by the country’s tourism industry to invest in properties and accommodations ahead of Havana’s 500th anniversary. Cuba’s capital is on track to add no fewer than seven new hotels by the end of 2019. The completion of properties such as the Prado y Malecón and Gran Hotel will further expand Havana’s already robust capacity, which currently numbers more than 12,000 hotel rooms.
Investment into the city’s tourism properties will be matched with a commitment to restoration projects for more than 600 buildings and complexes in Havana’s historical district. At the same time, Cuba will continue to expand its progressive roll out of WiFi service, with coverage for every hotel on the island on target for the end of 2019.
Investment in Cuba’s tourism industry reached $1.035 billion in 2018, representing a 3.5-percent increase year-over-year.