Cuba announced this Tuesday that the 2021 International Tourism Fair of Cuba (FitCuba), the most important event of the sector on the island, which was scheduled to take place from May 3 to 8, was again postponed due to the epidemiological situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The new date for holding it will be notified in a timely manner,” said a statement from the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR).
#FITCuba2021, principal evento de la industria turística cubana, ha sido pospuesto, dadas las condiciones epidemiológicas internacionales producto de la Covid-19 en el mundo.
— Ministerio Turismo (@MinturCuba) April 27, 2021
For this edition of FitCuba, focused on the sun and beach modality and dedicated to Russia as the guest of honor, the chosen venue was the western beach resort of Varadero, the most famous on the island.
In the brief note, the ministry “thanked for their understanding and loyalty all collaborators in the development of the sector” in the Caribbean country.
The expansion of the pandemic has negatively impacted the Cuban tourism industry, a key sector for its economy that in 2020 showed a 75% slump.
Last summer, the Caribbean country reopened the keys of the northeast to international tourists with strict prevention and control measures against COVID-19.
Later it also resumed the arrival of tourists to Varadero from markets such as Canada and Russia, the latter reactivated the previous week with a forecast of bringing more than 3,000 visitors to that destination per week.
A third wave of the pandemic has affected Cuba since the end of 2020 and has forced its authorities to apply more restrictive measures such as reducing flights and requiring a PCR test with a negative result from all travelers arriving in the country in order to stop the new re-outbreak.
Before the arrival of the pandemic, tourism was Cuba’s second economic sector behind the sale of professional services abroad, and contributed around 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in addition to providing employment to approximately half a million people in the state sector and a high percentage of workers in the private sector.
Cuba aspired to receive the visit of 4.5 million international visitors in 2020 and reverse 2019’s 9.3% decrease, when 4.2 million tourists traveled to the country, 436 352 less than in 2018, according to official data.