Cuba was awarded the 2021 Best Cultural Destination in the Caribbean by the World Travel Awards, in a year in which the island’s tourism sector suffered the worst decline in recent decades due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the 28th edition of these awards, which are awarded annually by an international jury of experts associated with the World Travel and Tourism Council, the island beat its competitors from the Caribbean in one of the more than 50 categories in dispute, according to the World Travel Awards website.
Cuba fue reconocida como el Mejor Destino Cultural del Caribe 2021 por los World Travel Awards, premios otorgados anualmente por un jurado internacional de expertos asociados al Consejo Mundial de Viajes y Turismo.https://t.co/dPYSFd330E
— Universidad de La Habana (@UdeLaHabana) October 22, 2021
“As a cultural destination, Cuba offers travelers countless attractions, among which are World Heritage cities such as Havana, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba; musical and dancing expressions of great value such as the son, the rumba and the Tumba Francesa,” underlined the Buen Viaje a Cuba online magazine, cited by Cubadebate.
“Added to this are monumental architectural samples in various cities and a vibrant life in squares and streets, momentarily stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic but already showing encouraging signs of revival,” the source added.
The jury recognized the Hotel Nacional as the best facility of its kind, while it awarded the Best Suite award to the Lorca Presidential room at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, both in Havana.
Likewise, the award for Best Vacation Resort went to Meliá Las Dunas in Cayo Santa María and the Inbound Cuba agencies, as best Tour Operator on the island, Cuba Direct (Travel Agency) and CubaForTravel (comprehensive management of trips to this nation), the source indicated.
The World Travel Awards recognize, reward and celebrate excellence in all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry around the world.
Cuba barely received 225,417 foreign tourists and travelers until last May, almost two million less than in the same period of 2020, according to data from the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI).
Until the fifth month of 2021, 88,239 foreign tourists arrived on the island, 895,893 less than in that stage the previous year, and in the category of travelers there were 137,178 between January and May, 1,097,074 less; a drastic reduction attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The publication indicates that in Cuba any person who travels between two or more different countries is considered a traveler; meanwhile, international visitors are defined as those who come for the purpose of leisure, recreation, business or other personal reasons and arrive in a country other than the one where they reside for at least one year.
By country of origin, official statistics indicate that during the stage 52,044 travelers and visitors arrived in Cuba from Russia (11,164 less), 4,501 from Germany (35,227 less), 3,060 from Spain (18,008 less) and from Canada only 2,278 (401,342 less).