This year saw Cuba receive almost 20,000 cruise ship visitors, while prospects for the Caribbean – which has become one of the most popular destinations for this variety of tourism – remain strong, noted a sector expert.
According to researcher and professor at the University of Havana’s faculty of Tourism, José Luis Perelló, interest from large cruise companies in the region has grown in 2015.
In regards Cuba, he noted that senior cruise company officials have established contacts and held meetings with authorities, given their desire to learn about the island’s potential, based on hotel infrastructure, its favorable natural and climatic conditions and geographical location.
Speaking to the press the academic reported that among the cruise lines interested are RCCL, Carnival, NCL, Harmark, Costa Cruises, MSC, Pearl Seas Cruises and United Caribbean Lines.
Dr. Perelló also described the characteristics of the Caribbean which make it ideal to develop the so-called leisure industry through multi-destination tourism.
A report by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) indicated that ships transported 22 million passengers in 2014, noting that global demand has increased 68%over the pastdecade.
The Caribbean is popular with U.S. tourists, with the region registering 59.9 million travel days in 2014, an increase of 16% as compared to 2013 and of almost 55% over the decade, noted the company.
Of the 22.4 million cruise passengers in 2014, some 55% boarded in the U.S. and 29% in Europe, noted the report.