Cuba revised down by ~15% its forecast for the number of foreign tourists visiting the island in 2019, after USA's ban on cruise ship stopovers, the government announced on Thursday, July 11.
President Donald Trump's administration introduced the saction on June 4, aiming to cut Cuba's essential revenue source. Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero revealed in a televised address to parliament that "despite the US government's measures to curb tourism" in the country, they would welcome 4.3 million visitors this year. It is ~15% down the forecasted 5.1 million tourists in 2019 and ~10% lower than the number of visitors in 2018.
According to official figures, ~900,000 cruisers visited Cuba in 2018, of whom ~40% Americans. The communist island seemed set to welcome record numbers of United States' cruise ship passengers this year as in the first 4 months 250,000 arrived, double the rate of 2018.
After the medical services, tourism is Cuba's second-biggest source of earnings, with revenues estimated at USD 2,5 billion per year. Cuba received 400,000+ US cruisers in January-May 2019. However, under the US measures, the Treasury Department banned group travel, private yacht and cruiseship visits by Americans.
The last US-homeported cruise vessel departed from Havana on June 5.