Cuba Sees Drop in Tourists as Trump Sanctions Take Hold   

Cuba’s tourism minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz.  File photo: excelenciasdecuba.com

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba saw a 23.6 per cent drop in tourists in July compared to the same month in 2018 amid renewed sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump, new data shows, informed dpa news.

An estimated 90,000 fewer international tourists visited the island this July compared to a year earlier.

By the end of the year Cuba is expecting an overall 10-per-cent drop in tourists compared to 2018, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero told the National Assembly last month.

Trump, who has been rolling back a US-Cuba detente introduced under the Obama administration, in June banned all US cruise ships from docking at the island nation, previously a popular way for Americans to visit.

Tourism had been one of the engines of the Cuban economy, especially following a drop in revenue from highly favorable trade with Venezuela, which is undergoing its own economic crisis.

32 thoughts on “Cuba Sees Drop in Tourists as Trump Sanctions Take Hold   

  • August 21, 2019 at 7:59 pm
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    All the American sinners prayed for and got the Orange Devil as the POS POTUS!

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    • August 23, 2019 at 8:33 am
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      As a Canadian, we have enjoyed Cuba because no American were permitted on their soil. I am Canadian and love the fact there is almost no U.S.A. Citizen going there.

      I do not understand the 26% drop in tourism. Was it because there was 26% more Americano coming to your country? If it was me, I would not invite them, if was my country.

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      • August 23, 2019 at 11:53 am
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        That’s right. We support our president. He doesn’t care about you because you’re not important . Haha. Sucks to be you.

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        • August 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm
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          Dan, maybe you and your friends support the disgusting creep but the majority of US residents don’t.

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      • August 23, 2019 at 1:21 pm
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        Your opinion is not representative of Canadians “jean”. Obviously you have ignored the instruction: “Love thy neighbour”. The US political system has many faults, but Americans in themselves are good neighbours and who are you “jean” to suggest that they ought to be denied travelling to visit beautiful Cuba? Perhaps a Trump supporter?
        As for “If it was me, I would not invite them, if it was my country.” are you suggesting that US citizens ought not to be allowed entry into Canada? Remember that some 75% of Canadian exports are to the US. Should that also cease?
        As for your question, the 26% drop in tourist numbers is largely a consequence of reduction of Americans being able to visit Cuba. Take some lessons in math!
        You are obviously ignorant regarding Americans travelling to Cuba, it is blatantly incorrect to say: “no American (sic) were (sic) permitted on their soil.” The Castro regime has encouraged US citizens to travel to Cuba and many have done so prior to the more recent relaxation for US airlines and cruise companies which caused the boost in numbers.

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      • August 23, 2019 at 2:06 pm
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        First of all learn to write English than get back to me. I did not understand anything you wrote in your second paragraph. You want to take advantage of the people and support the Government.

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        • August 27, 2019 at 12:45 pm
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          That’s your problem Blas fleites! Comprendo?

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      • August 28, 2019 at 1:08 pm
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        Hey Canadian,

        To say what you said is not only idiotic but utterly bigoted. To judge an entire nation and say, ‘you love the fact there is almost no U.S.A. citizen going there’. Is not only bizarre but prejudiced and stupid. I get the fear of having American culture from taking over Cuban culture, I have it too because it’s a reality that sometimes alters world cultures, but that’s American corporations, businesses, not ordinary individuals.
        Seriously??? You can’t actually be Canadian, like from Canada can you? The reputation of Canadians is much nicer than that.
        Remember there are 330 million people here, including a @#ton of immigrants from around the world, and in fact most people here came from somewhere else SO that really reflects on the world, not only our culture. It’s impossible for anyone to judge all of US as one thing or another. It’s more a sign of your short comings than ours.
        There are many good Americans but you wouldn’t know that would you?
        Shame on you.

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        • August 28, 2019 at 1:16 pm
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          My comment was for ‘jean’ but somehow it came up under another Canadian. Weird system?

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          • August 28, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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            OK Dami, I knew it was not addressed to me!

      • August 30, 2019 at 2:52 pm
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        Jean…. so how rude of you to speak for the Canadian People! Yes, it’s ok to have an opinion… but to blatantly make such statements is a bit racist in itself…. by now you have possibly figured out that I am AMERICAN and proud to be! My mother was Canadian and Italian! Back in her day, she was looked down upon do to her being Italian… so why do comments such as yours need to be part of today’s WORLD? Just like I’m sure there are plenty of Canadians that would disagree with your banter, the same for Americans…. who disagrees with the current administration. Oh, and by the way I was part of the percentage of Americans who traveled to Cuba in December of 2018

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      • August 31, 2019 at 11:30 pm
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        Listen man how can you go to a country that doesn’t respect our Canadian currency. You lose almost 24- 30% off the top when doing any exchange with very little to get back in respects to quality of anything there really.
        We have been supporting their economy for decades and as soon as the US introduces some measures for tourism there they hit us with and unfair rate of exchange. If you stay in the hotels well fine…. drink the crappy rum and beers and good luck with the food,

        If you wan to actually enjoy the Cuban culture and venture into the towns or countryside good luck as you will be mostly broke everyday because of the exhausting rate of exchange.

        Been going there 10 years and the place is getting worse everytime little improvement for the people everythnig goes to the gov’t. No payback in the way of quality to me the Canadian thats been supporting their economy……

        Read this and maybe it will provide some more insight.

        https://havanatimes.org/features/cubas-economy-heading-towards-the-perfect-storm/

        As for me I don’t have much more energy and money to lose and put into a place that is giving very little back now.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 11:13 pm
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    Cuba reaction to this new onslaught has been slow and thoughtless. In a non-government environment, affected enterprises develop immediate countermeasures such as cutting price, enhanced promotion etc.

    There is no doubt, that tourists services in Cuba are far more expensive, fixed and less diverse than in other Caribbean islands, albeit the enormity of cultural, environmental and social options that are not available in other islands.

    Rather than promote the private sector that has transformed and improved the quality of services, they has been persecuted, stifled, punished and taxed to death.

    The Dominican Republic and others, are constantly adjusting their markets, by offering promotional fee to counter any sign of the market slowing down.

    With the health crisis in the United States, Cuba has not capitalized on this market which Donald Trump prohibitions would have no effect upon. Millions of women are about to loose their reproductive rights and Cuba could upgrade a women’s hospital in Havana and Santiago to provide such badly needed services and they could in turn, lodge in partially empty hotels before and after the procedures.

    Offering medical services could enable professionals in the health field to receive decent wages, improve discipline and motivate them to study, while creating thousands of ancilliary jobs, that would help to put the economy in motion and solidify the presence of different airline companies.

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    • August 22, 2019 at 7:26 am
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      It would take very crazy women to go to Cuba for any medical procedure. They all would risk their lives.

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      • August 22, 2019 at 12:26 pm
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        People from all over the world visit Cuba for medical procedures. Their doctors are renowned through out the world. And medical tourism is a significant contributor to their GDP.

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        • August 22, 2019 at 6:39 pm
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          You missed out one word Laz. Your comment ought to read: “Their doctors are renowned throughout the THIRD world”. As you no doubt know, medical services contracts are a major source of revenue for the communist regime which charges the countries where it contracts those services and pays the medical staff concerned about 20% of the fees charged.
          Medical services for tourists are provided at the Clinica Cira Garcia in Havana which has facilities of international standard in stark contrast to those provided for Cubans in public hospitals, and at competitive charges, for example breast augmentation for US $1,248 compared with about $6,000 in the US. The medical tourism services received a major boost from Maradona the famous Argentinian footballer and devotee of communism, who has a tattoo of ‘Che’ on his shoulder and one of Fidel on his left leg, when he attended in 2,000 to be “dried out” from his severe drug addiction.
          Without doubt, the most famous Cuban doctor was Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay, son of a Scottish physician Edward Finlay and who graduated in medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Born in Cuba in 1833, it was a consequence of his work that yellow fever was eradicated from Cuba by the early 1900s. He later collaborated with the American physician Dr. Walter Reed. He was appointed Chief Health Officer for Cuba from 1902 ubtil 1909, dying in 1915. The Clinico Quirurgico Militar Central Dr. Carlos J. Finlay in Havana is named after him.
          Although the surgeon who operated upon Hugo Chavez visits us at our home, I am unaware of any current Cuban medical person having world renown. But maybe Laz you can name some(one)?

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  • August 21, 2019 at 11:35 pm
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    We Canadians will still come, so how about Cuba takes our dollar at par. That would be awesome . I love it there.

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    • August 22, 2019 at 7:26 am
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      The Canadians can’t get enough Cuba They close theirs eyes in front of the injustice, repression, lack of freedom, persecution of the opposition, and a city that is literally falling. The Canadians would repite the Cuban dictatorship mantra that everything is the Embargo’s fault , close theirs eyes sip on Mojitos and get a mulata.

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    • August 22, 2019 at 9:06 am
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      Yes, that would be great. I love spending time in Cuba!

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      • August 23, 2019 at 2:11 pm
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        Good that you have Cuba for Vacation fun because Canada Sucks.

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        • August 24, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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          Your opinion Blas fleites is contrary to that of the United Nations and I am curious to know whether you have actually visited Canada.
          You may also have noted that three of the ten top listed cities along with Vienna and Paris are in Canada.
          Certainly if political systems count for ought, Canada is way ahead of Cuba and the US.

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    • August 31, 2019 at 11:33 pm
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      Until that happens…. grow a pair and slowdown your travels there….. unless you like burning money and getting very little back.,,….

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  • August 22, 2019 at 2:02 am
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    Cubans have tremendous resolve and patriotism. This aggression by the ridiculous current president of the USA will not defeat them but instead strengthen the support the rest if the world shows for this country and its people.

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    • August 22, 2019 at 11:50 am
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      You are correct Dee in saying that the Cubans have tremendous resolve and they have needed it during the last sixty years, merely to survive the repression of the Castro communist regime which has failed to quench that human desire for freedom of the individual, freedom of speech, freedom of the media and freedom to teach ones own children those same beliefs without the threat of imprisonment.
      The plight of the Cuban people is not a consequence of any particular US president – however misguided some of their policies have been, but is a direct consequence of the imposition of the Stalinist interpretation of Marx and Lenin by the Castro brothers.
      Sadly, not all of the rest of the world shows support for the people of Cuba, for there are those who actually support totalitarian dictatorship – but not however for themselves, usually preferring to express their views from the safety of the free capitalist world.
      My own wife and family are amongst those patriotic Cubans to whom you refer, living in the hope that they may one day be able to hold their heads high in a free Cuban society.
      I was also interested in the comment by Olgasintanales that Canadian tourists close their eyes in front of the repression and injustice that are necessary in Cuba for the Castro regime to retain its power and control. Whereas she is correct about some, her view does not apply to all, for I have met many Canadians both in Cuba and Canada who are well aware of and deplore it. They are severe critics of the policy of the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau towards the Castros – even giving cash support, and of his son Justin Trudeau who falsely claimed to be representing the people of Canada when writing to Raul Castro upon the death of big brother Fidel, heaping praise upon him. He subsequently was given a rough ride by the Canadian people, the media and the Members of Parliament – eventually having to concede that: “Yes, Fidel Castro was a dictator.”

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    • August 23, 2019 at 2:19 pm
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      Cuban people have been living in these conditions for 60 yrs. Yes I said 60 if the Cuban people don’t care leave them alone. It has to come from within Cuba.

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    • August 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm
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      Stay in Canada and Cuba. Not welcome in the USA. MAGA!

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  • August 22, 2019 at 9:09 am
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    I Can Only Guess That 80% or More of the Cuban People Will Never Feel those Tourist Dollars We Leave in Cuba. That is How the Cuban People have Explained there Feelings. A Cuban Can Not ask where the Tourist Money has been Going, Only a Tourist Can Speak out there Words outside of Cuba. Think of Every Tourist Dollar We Provide is a Month More of The Open Air Cuban Prison for Many Many Cuban Family,s. Yes it is Time, Time All of Cuba was Over Run By Tourist & see for then selves a Cubans Life Struggle in there World a world Non of us want to understand. My informants ages as young of 80 something & the Smartest as he retired 106 years young. I was permitted To Go Too Fare into Cuba. Yes I have Seen the Tears & Smiles of Cuba from the ones that shaped a future as to where they ask for very little & have been provided much Less.

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  • August 22, 2019 at 10:04 am
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    I come from the UK to holiday here as it is the cheapest Caribbean destination for us, and will continue to come as the people are so friendly and welcoming

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    • August 23, 2019 at 2:24 pm
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      Continue to go to Cuba. The Government needs your money but try and leave some money for the people.

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    • August 31, 2019 at 11:35 pm
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      Friendly … or just want your dollars? Your pound is good…. so your lucky …..

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  • August 22, 2019 at 12:07 pm
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    Different strokes for different folks. It has been said that when Man does not differentiate the end of the world is near. I buy that. Viva La Difference as the French people say.

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    • August 22, 2019 at 6:22 pm
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      ” Con la soga al cuello.” Maybe ‘ they can this time around.’

      Reply

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