Cuba woos tourists from Qatar, region
11:00 PM - 24 June 2013
By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
Cuba is to launch a series of campaigns to introduce its tourist
locations to the Mideast, Cuba's ambassador to Qatar Ernesto D Plesencia
told the Gulf Times yesterday.
Speaking to this newspaper alongside a meeting with a group of senior
tour and travel professionals at his official residence where embassy
officials gave a presentation of the tourist attractions of the
Caribbean nation, Plasencia said Cuba is now "more aware than ever
before" about its growing potential in tourism and recent campaigns to
attract tourists years have been remarkably encouraging.
The ambassador described the tourists sector as the "locomotive" of
Cuba's economy over the last two decades.
Compared to the figures of international tourists' arrivals in Cuba of
2011, there was a 4.5% increase last year as more than 2.85mn people
visited his nation last year, the ambassador said, adding that the
target for this year is 3mn. "More than 1mn international tourists have
already visited Cuba in the first four months of the year and the number
is rapidly growing with each passing day," said Plasencia.
"Our focus now is to attract people from the GCC to visit Cuba, which
has a historic connection with this region," he said, adding that
prevailing hotel and other tariffs in his country would be very much
"affordable" to visitors from countries like Qatar.
There are so many things in Cuba that could attract the attention of a
visitor from the region even though there is no direct air connectivity
to Havana from the region, he explained while expressing the hope that
there would be connectivity with Cuba in coming years. Now the main
connectivity to Cuba from this region is provided mainly by KLM, the
He spoke about some of the major tourist attractions in Cuba, including
excellent healthcare facilities, heritage, leisure, beaches,
hospitality, adventure sports, natural forests and fishing, among others.
Embassy Second secretary Raul E Madrigal Cardenas and cultural and press
attaché Nubia Cherician Gonzalez also spoke on the tourist potential of
Source: "Cuba woos tourists from Qatar, region" -