Caribbean tourism: only low hotel occupancy rate in Cuba 

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For every ten rooms available in Cuban hotels, more than eight were empty in 2022, with no halt in construction fever.

Data on the leading tourism indicators for the past year, released Monday (13) by the National Statistics and Information Office (Onei), make clear what some workers in the sector have previously taken as a warning.

Capacity utilization is at an all-time low, at a meager 15.6%.

, Caribbean tourism: only low hotel occupancy rate in Cuba 
People over 60 are more likely to choose Cuba as a tourist destination (Photo internet reproduction)

Compared to last year, the worst year of the pandemic for Cuba, the picture is more favorable.

Hotel occupancy rose 273.7% compared to 5.7% in 2021, but compared to 2019, when the figure was 48.2%, the reality is much bleaker a 67.6% decline.

Comparing the ratio to a foreign destination, the Dominican Republic had an occupancy rate of 65.8%, rising to over 70% in areas such as Punta Cana, Cuba’s direct competitor.

In the same year, islands in other latitudes, such as the Balearic and Canary Islands in Spain, reached 74% and 68%, respectively.

Spending per tourist is also falling, which is unsurprising considering the supply shortage throughout the ailing state network, affecting the private sector.

This situation is naturally reflected in the balance sheets, meaning the communist regime is losing foreign currency.

At the official exchange rate of US$1 for ₱24, some US$2.645 billion were collected in 2019, compared to just over US$800 million this year.

Foreign visitors also spent an average of US$620 three years ago and an average of US$495 in 2022.

Another negative indicator, but in line with the number of travelers in the country – only 1.6 million compared to 4.2 million in 2019 – is the number of overnight stays, which fell from 27,237,590 to 8,441,755, a drop of more than two-thirds.

There are a few surprises in the section on the origin of tourists, known from the monthly Onei reports.

Only Russia has seen a decline due to the suspension of flights due to sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.

Canadians remain the most important market, followed by Cubans abroad, Americans, and several European countries, which has not changed over the years.

The disaster comes when comparing the overall numbers to those of 2019.

In 2022, only 532,487 Canadians traveled to Cuba, compared to 1,120,077 three years ago.

The number of Cubans abroad dropped to 333,191 from 623,972 in 2019.

The number of US citizens dropped from 498,538 to 100,494, and Spaniards, who ranked fourth last year, fell from 146,339 – eighth at the time – to 83,025.

A curiosity is that Venezuela, which remains in the bottom zone, dropped from 19,939 in 2019 to 9,144 last year, although it has achieved unusual numbers – for example, 95,993 tourists in 2015.

In 2017, with the beginning of the worst crisis in the country, arrivals plummeted by half, from 42,584 that year to only 23,983 in 2018.

In 2022, only 532,487 Canadians traveled to Cuba, compared to 1,120,077 three years ago.

Most tourists came from the Americas, with 1,107,257 of the 1.6 million foreign visitors.

Europeans followed far behind with 453,650 and Asians with 43,392, Africa (7,939) and Oceania (1,764) bringing up the rear.

Regarding demographic profiles, the 25- to 45-year-old age group is the largest target group (520,085), followed closely by the next age group, 45- to 59-year-olds (507,994).

Older people are more likely to choose Cuba, with 336,519 tourists over 60.

Among young people, on the other hand, the two groups (under 15 and 16 to 24 years old) account for about 122,000 travelers.

Although there is not much difference between the sexes, there are more women than men aged 15 to 24 and significantly more men than women over 60.

The document also shows the sectoral revenues of government establishments, with the gastronomy sector benefiting the most from tourism, with a profit of 21,639,238 compared to a total of 49,224,197.

It is followed by the accommodation sector, with 11,692,500, and retail and transport at a considerable distance, with a little more than 4 million each.

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