Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wish you were really here

You probably won’t read about it in Granma but there are reports from Havana today that the much-hyped tourist bubble may be about to burst.

According to Reuters, unpublished figures reveal that the number of tourists from key markets in Europe and Canada has declined markedly in the past year.

For instance, Canadian tourists were down by 1.9 per cent, while there were declines in visitors from Spain (down 5.7 per cent), Italy (down 15 per cent), Germany (down 9.8 per cent), and France (down 5.2 per cent).

In fact, only Britain showed an increase - 5.7 per cent. But that was before Red Ken visited, making the place immediately unfashionable.

Reuters says Cuba has become increasingly costly and less profitable for operators partly because of recent changes to exchange rates.

But there are other reasons, it seems.

The Canadian Association of Tour Operators complained earlier this year to the Cuban Ministry of Tourism about “the lack of adequate service for tourists, theft at airports and hotels, and jet fuel costing 33 percent more than elsewhere”.

What do you reckon? They will blame it all on the US embargo?


Blogger Albert Quiroga said...

I remember a tourist promotion TV commercial, in the days of pre-"free pseudoeducation-and toxic-healthcare" Cuba, with a jingle that went "Conozca a Cuba primero, y al extranjero despues" -"Know Cuba first, then foreign places." Seems the kaSStristas and their vaunted Bizarro-world management skills have managed to turn the concept completely upside put it in Forrest Gump terms, "stupid is as stupid does."

11:31 pm  

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