China and Cuba signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Wednesday, allowing Chinese travel groups to visit the Caribbean country.
Cuba is the first nation in the Western Hemisphere to gain Approved Destination Status (ADS) from the Chinese government. So far, China has signed 28 MOUs with different nations and regions. Chinese group travelers can go to 24 nations and regions altogether.
Cuba has over 1,600 islands and tourism is an important industry.
In recent years, the number of Chinese travelers going abroad has risen, surpassing 16 million last year. The World Tourism Organization predicts China will become the fourth largest tourist source for the nation by 2020.