Havana.- The largest Antillean Island received 800,000 foreign vacationers during the first four months of 2003.
Cuban tourist officials pointed out that this figure is higher than the one reported during the same period last year, so the island is likely to receive two million travelers this year.
Tourist arrivals increased by 35 percent in January, 19 percent in February, 6 percent in March and 20 percent in April.
In 2002, Cuba had 266 hotels, totaling 40,000 rooms. Authorities expect to upgrade 110 hotels to the four- and five-star categories this year.
In addition, investments have been made in the best establishments, including 12 hotels totaling 4,700 rooms and operating under a joint venture. Some 10,000 rooms in four- and five-star hotels are expected to be in operation in 2006-2007.
The development strategy includes the promotion of such tourist modalities as nature, diving, congresses and incentives, in addition to sun and beaches. The extra-hotel infrastructure is being enlarged, including the construction of more commercial centers.