In the main beach poles in the country, with the arrival of the months of July and August, the hottest in the Cuban calendar, it is no longer too alarming the drop in the number of foreign visitors that prefer to visit the country in the winter.
This is because domestic tourism has begun to occupy an increasingly important place as a consumer of tourist products this time of the year.
Domestic tourists have now the second largest presence in the beach resorts like Varadero and Jardines del Rey, mainly in Cayo Coco and Guillermo, as indicated by specialists in the tourism sector in the provinces of Matanzas and Ciego de Avila, respectively.
In 2010 there were over 7 million overnight stays of domestic tourists in the different variants of accommodation available as reported by the National Statistics Office (ONE by its Spanish acronym).
This may be taken as an indicator of the place that is reaching the country’s consumer offerings within the entertainment industry. So much so that by the first half of this year, when the summer stage still was not in full swing, there was a 30 percent increase in the number of Cuban vacationers.
In this regard the Ministry of Tourism plans to complete the year with over 2 million 920 thousand visitors. This figure could be achieved considering that Cuba arrived to the 2 million visitor figure 20 days earlier this year, on August 27. In the first eight months of the implementation of policies for exploration and penetration of new source markets, including South American countries like Argentina and Brazil or other like Russia, they are showing encouraging results.
Achieving this figure is also based on the growth of the indicator after the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba in late March, prompting the numbers to ascend after a fall earlier in the year due to the crisis experienced by major European economies, including the English, Italian and in worse situation, the Spanish one.
The truth is that as domestic tourists are taking a high place in the enjoyment of what the country offers. Therefore this type of visitor will have to be taken into account in the expansion and consolidation plans that the tourism sector on the island is underway.