In the first half of 2015, official figures indicate that 2,194,134 international tourists arrived in Cuba. Photo: Jorge Luis González

Yesterday September 8, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero reported in Havana that the Cuban travel industry continues to grow at a good rate, with a 17% increase noted thus far in 2015, thanks to successful performances in key emissary markets.

Among the countries sending the most visitors are Canada, Britain, Spain, Mexico, France and Italy, reflecting efforts being made to improve offerings at the island’s most popular destinations.

A recent report from the National Statistics and Information Office (ONEI) indicated that, in the first half of the year, 2,194,134 international tourists arrived in Cuba, representing a 17% increase over 2014.

Elevating quality in general, Marrero said, remains the central challenge for workers in the sector.

After inaugurating the new headquarters of the University of Havana’s Tourism Department, Marrero told the press that the demand for lodging in Havana continues to rise, thus a new strategy is being implemented to construct a number of hotels and renovate others.

He concluded, “We know may things remain to be done, but we are moving in the right direction.”