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Cuba holiday industry within Cuban economy

Updated on April 19, 2012

Cuba main holiday resorts

Varadero Beach is Cuba's main holiday resort
Varadero Beach is Cuba's main holiday resort
Havana City is very popular for short breaks and sightseen tours
Havana City is very popular for short breaks and sightseen tours
Vinales Valley is great for eco Cuba holidays
Vinales Valley is great for eco Cuba holidays

Cuban economy focused on health services and tourism

Tourism, health and cigar are today Cuba's main export items. The island has been promoting its tourist attributes abroad in order to encourage foreign visitors to spend Cuba holidays and continue to revive its economy.

Cuban exports of goods and services generated $9 billion (£ 5.6 billion) in income in 2011, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. Tourism and health services have played a significant role in attracting foreign tourists to take Cuba holidays and working together in order to promote the island as a destination for medical tourism.

Antonio Carricarte, Cuban senior deputy minister of foreign commerce, said that Cuba is diversifying its exports and relying less on established sectors such as nickel and sugar. Services such as tourism, health care and computing currently make up more than 70 percent of revenue.

According to Carricarte, the strategy is to consolidate the most important export items generating incomes and incorporate areas from the results of major branches, including biotechnology, genetic engineering, science and technology in general.

Tourism is Cuba's second main source for foreign currency after medical services exports. Last year, international tourism generated $2.1 billion (£ 1.3 billion), an amount that generously contributed to the island's domestic economy.

Since medical services exports are Cuba's first main source of income in foreign currency, health tourism plays a vital role in the recently updated economic model of the country, offering foreigners over 100 treatments such as cancer treatment, drug addiction programmes, dentistry, cosmetic surgery and specialised care for the young and the elderly.

Servimed, a state-owned company offering medical holidays in Cuba to foreign patients, is strongly backing and supporting a Cuban effort to increase for-profit medical exports. It has the goal of reducing domestic expenses and contributing to the development of the national health system and to promote Cuba travel.

The leisure industry in the island continues to grow this year. The number of travellers enjoying Cuba holidays is still on the rise as the tourism infrastructure is considerably improving the comfort of hotel rooms and the quality of service.

There are programmes underway to continue to place traditional sectors in the international commerce, including sugar, rum, nickel, cigar, citrus, honey and seafood, after having all undergone major reductions.

With its favourable climate, beautiful and pristine beaches, friendly people, colonial architecture, distinct cultural history and rich traditions, the island has long been an attractive destination for many holidaymakers, who come year after year to enjoy the unique beauty and charm only holidays in the island can offer.

Cuba main holiday resorts

A
Varadero, Cuba:
Varadero, Cuba

get directions

B
Havana, Cuba:
Havana, Cuba

get directions

C
Guardalavaca, Holguin, Cuba:
Guardalavaca, Cuba

get directions

D
Cayo Coco, Ciego de Avila, Cuba:
Cayo Coco, Cuba

get directions

E
Cayo Santa Maria, Villa Clara, Cuba:
Pedraplén a Cayo Santa María, Cuba

get directions

F
Santa Lucia, Camaguey, Cuba:
Santa Lucía, Cuba

get directions

G
Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba:
Trinidad, Cuba

get directions

H
Vinales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba:
Vinales, Cuba

get directions

Cuba in images

Trinidad is a colonnial town in central Cuba declared World Heritage Site, worth a visit
Trinidad is a colonnial town in central Cuba declared World Heritage Site, worth a visit | Source
Cayo Santa Maria is Cuba's newest holiday resort and has some of the most pristine beacjes you can find in Cuba
Cayo Santa Maria is Cuba's newest holiday resort and has some of the most pristine beacjes you can find in Cuba | Source
Varadero is Cuba's top holiday resort
Varadero is Cuba's top holiday resort | Source
Havana is Cuba's capital city and a place you should not miss
Havana is Cuba's capital city and a place you should not miss | Source

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    • Slimabid profile image

      Slimabid 

      6 years ago from Brussels

      Interesting piece, i was wondering if you could give me your sources since my thesis involves cuban tourism

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