Despite restrictions, visitors are duplicated Americans to #Cuba (#USA, #EEUU, #Spain, #France)


EFE-The flow of American travelers to Cuba doubled in the past six years with the arrival of more than 98,000 visitors in 2012, despite the economic embargo restrictions applied by the U.S. government to the island, according to official figures released this Friday at Havana.

Visitors from the United States ranked sixth in the list of countries sending tourists to Cuba last year, after a progressive increase from 2007, when the island reached 40,521 Americans, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics and Information (ONEI).

Thereafter, from year to year, in 2008 41,904 Americans visited the island, 52,455 (2009), 63.046 (2010) and in 2011 there were 73.566.

Travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba are authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S., responsible for granting licenses to organizations and groups that sponsor certain programs of educational and cultural exchange with Cuba.

Americans allowed to travel to Cuba are subject to daily spending limits and prohibited the entry of souvenirs or other goods Cubans, has warned the U.S. Treasury Department.

In January 2011, a resolution passed by the U.S. president, Barack Obama, eased some regulations that benefited visits for academic, religious, cultural or sporting events that meet certain guidelines and especially with a policy that Washington calls «promoting person to person contact. «

The figures on American visitors ONEI not include the thousands of Cuban-Americans who travel annually to visit relatives on the island.

The visits of Cuban Americans have also increased from that in 2009 the U.S. government relaxed its travel and remittances and care packages to their relatives on the island.

475.936 In 2012 Cuban arrived to the island, according to a study of the organization The Havana Consulting Group estimated that this year could rise to more than 520,000.

Currently Canada maintains its traditional leadership in the tourism market to Cuba, where they arrived 1071.696 tourists from that country in the previous year, followed by travelers from European countries like England, Germany, Italy and France.

Tourism is the second chapter in foreign exchange earnings to the economy of the island behind the technical and professional services and remittances by Cuban immigrants.

In 2012 Cuba reached more than 2.8 million tourists, representing a growth of 3.4 percent for the sector, which had revenues of more than 2,600 million dollars, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The aspiration of the island in 2013 is to become host to 3 million visitors than in the first half of the year received 1,596,883, mostly from Canada, England, Germany and Argentina, in that order, according to the ONEI.


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