This week’s announcement of a change in diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States is a welcome opportunity to increase tourist arrivals to the Caribbean. With the US already being the region’s largest source market, producing nearly half of our tourism business, this new development could enhance those numbers. Last year we welcomed over 12 million Americans to our shores. An opportunity to substantially increase that number will be welcomed.
Cuba is a longstanding and active member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, having joined the CTO in 1992. The island is actively engaged in our trade and consumer promotions in Canada, Latin America and Europe and we look forward to including Cuba in our programmes in the United States. We now anticipate the island’s broader participation in CTO-organised global and regional events in the future.
Naturally, an unusually large inflow of new travelers to the Caribbean will have varying effects on Cuba and the rest of the Region. The CTO will provide the technical resources necessary to manage the growth, reduce any dislocation, and help create sustainable tourism development strategies throughout our member-countries.
The CTO proudly promotes an exciting, diverse tourism product offered by its over 30 member countries and Cuba is an integral part of that diversity. The success of every member-country is an important focus of the Organization’s overall vision for the Caribbean.