Tourist arrivals to Cuba fell 3.6% in 2006
to 2.2 million, falling short of the 8% increase predicted,
according to a report in Cuban, a weekly newsmagazine in Cuba.
In addition, the
number of European visitors declined during the just-concluded peak
season from December through mid-April; Canadian visitors, who make
up Cuba's largest market, increased 1.6% during the same time
compared with the 2006 peak season figures.
Reasons cited for
the decline include, in part, U.S. restrictions on travel to Cuba,
including Washington's tightening of visits by Cuban-Americans to
their families; the high cost of oil; European visitors'
preferences for short trips; a dip in hotel investment by foreign
companies; and a drop in service standards in the hospitality
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