Skip to main content
ad info

 
CNN Interactive   travel > news
 
  Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback

 

  Search
 
 

 
TRAVEL
TOP STORIES

Alaska Air launches limited wireless check-in

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 1,700 killed in India quake; fear of aftershocks spreads

U.S. stocks mixed

After respite, California power supply close to running on empty

Ashcroft supporters combat accusations of discrimination

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image

Cuba's once-hot tourism cools

Vendors at Havana's downtown flea market have noticed a marked decline in tourist traffic  

July 10, 2000
Web posted at: 11:10 a.m. EST (1510 GMT)

HAVANA (CNN) -- Summer traditionally is a slow time for tourism in humid Havana, but even winter vacationing this year was stagnant, suggesting that Cuba's heady days of banner tourism may be ending.

"The first month of January, the first three weeks, were completely surprising -- the low occupancy levels that we suffered," said Jorge Villanova, general manager of Havana Libre Hotel. "And it's a practical rule, how you start your year is how things go."

  QUICKVOTE
Are you interested in traveling to Cuba as a tourist?

Yes- I already have
Yes- I'd like to
No- Cuba doesn't interest me
No- it would support Castro's government
View Results
 
  MESSAGE BOARD
Would political issues keep you from visiting Cuba? Share your thoughts on our message board
 

Hotel and tour operators in Cuba say the Y2K scare was the biggest factor for the flat season; potential tourists, worried that year-end computer glitches could play havoc with their travel plans, stayed away. Others may have avoided Cuba after seeing televised images of the nation's demonstrations over Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban child whose rescue off the United States coast made him the object of an international custody battle.

"It's true that during the first part of the year, we have had several incidents in the reception of tourism," said Fernando Santos of Cuba Tours. "But tourism in May has stabilized."

That's important for Cuba, where tourism is the No. 1 industry, a business that generated more than $1 billion last year. The government projected 2 million tourists this year -- 400,000 more people than visited in 1999.

Despite the disappointing tourist turnout so far this year, Tryp Hotels plans to build five new hotels in Cuba  

"Perhaps we are not as happy as we should be, considering the fact that the demand of the Cuba product is not increasing at the speed that we expected," Villanova said. "We need to do additional efforts in promotion of Cuba."

Despite this year's early disappointments, hotel companies doing business in Cuba are bullish about the future. Tryp Hotels of Spain, for example, plans to build five new hotels there.

Cubans say they also hope the U.S. will lift its restrictions on travel to the island nation. If that happens, tourism is expected to double overnight.


RELATED RESOURCES:
Weather: Havana, Cuba
World Maps and Guides: Cuba
Currency Converter


RELATED STORIES:
Sex trade crackdown not slowing Cuban tourism
June 22, 1999
U.S. travel agencies eye Cuban opportunities
May 16, 1998
Cuba touts rising tourism
July 22, 1997

RELATED SITES:
CDC Travelers' Health Information
U.S. State Department Consular Information

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   


Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.