Friday, August 10, 2012

Cuba reports revenues rose 12.8 percent last year in tourism, key source of foreign income

Cuba reports revenues rose 12.8 percent last year in tourism, key source
of foreign income
By Associated Press, Published: August 9

HAVANA — Cuban authorities report that tourism revenues rose 12.8
percent in 2011, returning to levels from three years earlier as the key
sector recovers from losses due to the global financial crisis.

In an undated report posted recently on its website, the National Office
of Statistics said tourism income was $2.5 billion in 2011, compared
with $2.2 billion the previous year.

In all, the island hosted 2.7 million visitors, up 7 percent from 2.5
million in 2010.

Tourist arrivals continued to increase in recent years despite world
financial difficulties, but travelers began spending less money,
delivering a hit to one of Cuba's main sources of foreign income along
with nickel mining and remittances.

The $2.5 billion figure is about on par with tourism income from 2008.

The report also gave other selected indicators on the state of the Cuban
economy. It said overall international trade in goods and services rose
24.7 percent last year to nearly $32 billion.

That included $6 billion in exported goods, an increase of 31.4 percent
over the previous year, and $14 billion in imports, up 31.1 percent.

Island officials have spoken of the need to narrow the trade imbalance,
but Cuba continues to rely heavily on costly imports of things like food
and fuel.

Trade in services, meanwhile, was $12 billion, 15.3 percent more than in

The agency did not say how much of that was outgoing vs. incoming. The
figure apparently includes the brigades of doctors and technical
advisors that Cuba sends to countries like Venezuela, which provides the
island with about 100,000 barrels of oil a day on beneficial terms.

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