Antonio Díaz Medina

Antonio Díaz Medina

Profesor de la Facultad de Turismo de la Universidad de La Habana. Fue director de la agencia Celimar de Havanatur por varios años. Especialista en turismo de EEUU a Cuba.

Photo: Yoniel Tolentino.

Pandemic, elections and travel between Cuba and the U.S.

The world continues being plagued by the growing contagion of the COVID-19 virus. The outbreaks continue everywhere, also in Cuba. Its negative impact is the worst since the birth of mass tourism in the 1950s. Traveling, especially for leisure and recreation, was already an important need for a great many human beings, but it is shown that it is dispensable if their lives are at stake. Tourism is the social phenomenon hardest hit by the pandemic. In its case it acts as a natural “vector”; that must be understood and it must be treated accordingly. The problem is that it has developed a group of service industries that, in 2018, made up 10.4% of the world GDP, and approximately 1 in 10 jobs in the world; and today they are almost totally paralyzed. These service businesses account for one in ten jobs worldwide. There are tens of millions of unemployed workers, a situation close to unsustainable. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), since 2013, tourism has generated 10% of world employment, and in 2018 there were 313 million people working in the sector. In the structure of the current economy, services are 63% of the GDP and...