Vacationers take photos close to the Capitol in Havana, Cuba August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Fernando Medina
HAVANA (Reuters) – Vacationer arrivals to Cuba plunged 23.6% on the yr in July, official information confirmed on Wednesday, confirming the blow dealt to the sector by the Trump administration’s tightening of U.S. restrictions on journey to the Caribbean island.
Knowledge from the Statistics Workplace had already proven a 20% drop in arrivals in June, after Washington that very same month banned cruises to Cuba and made it tougher for U.S. residents to get an exemption from the ban on journey there.
The sustained decline reverses a growth in arrivals and subsequently the broader tourism trade lately following the U.S.-Cuban detente below former U.S. President Barack Obama that President Donald Trump is now unraveling.
The Trump administration has focused two of the few shiny spots in Cuba’s in any other case beleaguered financial system, tourism and international funding, as a part of its marketing campaign to stress the Communist authorities to reform and drop help for embattled leftist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Analysts say Trump seems to even be eyeing the 2020 presidential elections, with the swing state of Florida residence to many Cuban People who welcome the tougher line on Havana and his base applauding it as a part of his broader assault on socialism.
The administration’s measures are hurting an financial system already battling a money crunch within the wake of a steep decline in help from leftist ally Venezuela and a drop in exports.
The Cuban authorities final month revised sharply downwards its estimate for full-year guests arrivals to four.three million from an authentic purpose of greater than 5 million. That can spell a eight.5% drop from the four.7 million reported final yr.
Whereas the decline is impacting the state tourism sector, it’s also hurting the numerous eating places, bed-and-breakfasts and taxi drivers within the fledgling Cuban non-public sector that the US says it needs to help.
Washington’s latest choice to permit lawsuits by U.S. residents towards companies deemed to be trafficking in property expropriated by the Cuban authorities can also be impacting the international corporations working in Cuba’s tourism sector, with a number of dealing with claims.
Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Enhancing by Marguerita Choy