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Cuba and the United States to reopen their embassies, good news for tourism

The United States and Cuba have come to an agreement to reestablish diplomatic relations and plan to reopen their respective embassies by next July 20. This news should accelerate the growth of tourism on the Caribbean island.

After more than 50 years on hold, diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States will be re-established. The two nations came to an agreement and will reopen their embassies in Washington and Havana starting 20 July 2015. This announcement is further to the rapprochement between the two countries last December, when the United States removed Cuba from America's black list of governments supporting terrorism.

The news should have a strong impact in the tourist industry on the island of Fidel Castro, where growth has been steady since dialog between Washington and Havana was renewed. The latter had, in particular, led to a significant increase in tourist arrivals from the United States. The number of American visitors to the island grew by 36% between January 1 and May 9, 2015, with respect to the same period last year. According to a study by the economist José Luis Perello Cabrera, of the International Center for Tourism Research at the University of Havana, 51,458 people traveled to the country, versus 37,459 in the first months of 2014.

While renewed diplomatic relations between the two nations should significantly help Cuban tourism surpass 3 million visitors (total arrivals on the island in 2014), the difficult question of the American embargo on economic and financial transactions continues. Imposed on Cuba in 1962, it is regularly denounced by Havana as an obstacle to the island's economic development.

Also read:

  • American tourists arriving in Cuba in greater numbers
  • Cuba's future in tourism attracts investors
  • Cuba: at the dawn of a revolution, a look at a century of tourism

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