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Cuba Welcomes Record Number Of Tourists In 2012

LONDON, January 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

- Holidays to Cuba proving more and more popular as Caribbean island continues to modernise its offering to visitors -

The iconic 1950s American cars still fill the streets of Havana but now the Cuban coast also offers ultra-modern five-star luxury all-inclusive resorts, which have succeeded in attracting a different kind of holidaymaker to the island. As tourism figures were released for the past year, leading online package holiday retailer Holiday Hypermarket was unsurprised that the country's allure is increasing.

As holidays to Cuba continue to grow in popularity, the colourful Caribbean island recorded around 2.9 million tourist visits in 2012, up 4.5 per cent on 2011, and is set to see more than 3 million arrive in 2013.

Although Canada provides the highest number of visitors to Cuba, UK holidaymakers account for the greatest number of European visitors, with figures from the Cuban Office of National Statistics showing that nearly 150,000 jetted off to the Caribbean's largest island last year.

Tourism continues to grow as new leader Raul Castro, younger brother of Fidel, recognises its importance to the country's economy. This has led to increasing modernisation of the country's tourist offering, which includes everything from family run "casas particulares" to luxury beach-front hotels in areas such as Varadero.

Calum Macdonald, E-Commerce Manager at Holiday Hypermarket, comments: "I'm not surprised that Cuba has grown in popularity. The country has really modernised in recent years but also kept its distinctive charm.

"There are so many different experiences available for visitors, from beautiful Spanish colonial architecture and the iconic old American cars in downtown Havana to a really relaxing sun-and-sea break at the newer luxury all-inclusive coastal resorts. As a bonus, the climate in Cuba is great all-year round so it's perfect for a trip at any time of the year."

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