AT the end of a year characterized by the impact of the world economic crisis on a number of important tourism markets, and in spite of the limitations imposed by the U.S. blockade, which prevents its citizens visiting Cuba freely as tourists, work undertaken by all of the national hotel chains in conjunction with our travel agencies, airlines and tour operators, has made it possible to achieve a total of three million international visitors through today, December 30. This is a national record for our country and represents a growth of 5.3% in comparison with last year's figures.

This result signifies continuing to perfect our work, raising the quality of the services we offer, diversifying Cuban tourism and expanding the use of technologies to promote our provision.

We are grateful for the work undertaken by workers in the sector and all tour operators to achieve this objective, as well as the support given to the development of tourism by those in various sectors of the economy and government, without all of whom this result would not be possible.

We wish to give special recognition to our people, the source of greatest satisfaction on the part of those who visit us, given their high degree of culture and the hospitality with which they receive all visitors, thus guaranteeing that they feel at home and in a totally safe environment.

Ministry of Tourism

Havana, December 30, 2014