Cuba reports nearly 4% decrease in tourist arrivals in 2006

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 sector.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Gay Nagle Myers at [email protected].

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