Cuba surpassed one million international visitors March 21, eleven days ahead of 2014, representing a record for the country, the Ministry of Tourism reported.

A couple take photos in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, with image of legendary guerrilla leader Camilo Cienfuegos In the background. Photo: Archivo

According to the Tourism Ministry’s Communications Department, so far the first quarter of this year has seen arrivals up 14%, marked by an encouraging trend as regards increasing numbers of tourists from markets such as Canada (12.6% growth), Germany (up 23.3%), France (22.8%), the UK (30.6%) and Italy (10.8%).

The number of visitors from the United States also grew by 29.5% thanks to the more flexible interpretation of the 12 categories for travel licenses authorized by the U.S. government, which continues to maintain its blockade of Cuba.

The Ministry press release refers to the consolidation of new commercial operations, before the start of the high season, which has been key to further stimulating growth in this sector, as well as efforts made in terms of promotional material across different markets, enhancing the opportunities offered by new technologies for greater communication.

It is also noted that this result is further supported by the diversity of Cuban tourism products, the security offered by the country and the hospitality of the Cuban people, ensuring that visitors feel at home during their stay.