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Cuba travel reforms
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Immigration reforms will benefit Cuba travel
Cuban authorities have announced immigration reforms in order to encourage Cuba travel by Cubans residing abroad. The new changes will also ease restrictions on travel outside the island by nationals living in the country.
The Cuban government has announced new changes in immigration legislation favouring Cuba travel by Cuban citizens living abroad and tourism trips by those residing in the island. The new directive comes as a result of the implementation of the "Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy" recently approved which are aimed at updating the nation's economic model.
According to Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, President of the Assembly of People's Power (Parliament), "we are dealing with economic immigrants now whose only interest is to keep peaceful ties with its home country. They have family, friends, and wish overall stability. Assuming this reality will lead us to a substantial reform in our immigration policy. We need to change some rules and eliminate others."
Currently, Cubans living abroad are the second largest source of visitors to the Caribbean nation. They rank second behind Canadians in the overall number of arrivals to the country. During 2011, more than 397,000 Cuban immigrants travelled to their homeland to visit family and friends. This represented an increase by 5.9 per cent compared to 2010. Cubans living in the U.S. leaded Cuba travel followed by those residing in Spain.
"Close to half million Cubans living outside our borders visit us every year. Most of Cuban immigrants have a healthy relationship with its motherland" added Alarcon.
The reforms in the current immigration law comprises travel by nationals living in the island who will benefit from less paperwork and checks up in order to take tourist trips. In fact, Cubans residing in the country represent one of the most important customers' segments booking Cuba holidays from incoming travel agencies. Since 2009, domestic market have grown significantly across the island, contributing to the boost of tourism receipts and easing seasonality of travel demand.
Although in some periods of time, the Cuban Diaspora tended to occur under political circumstances, most Cubans living abroad at present time left the island in the search of economic opportunities rather than for political reasons. A large percentage of them visit the island every year spending quality time in Cuba holiday destinations with family and friends.
During 2012, under the new rule, Cuba is expecting to receive 474,310 Cuban immigrants from all over the world.
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