Cuba’s increasingly crucial tourism sector grew by 23.2 percent in the first half of 2017, according to new data from Cuba Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero.
That represented a total of 2.7 million tourists compared to the first six months of 2016, driven unsurprisingly by a surge in U.S. tourism.
Indeed, the U.S. market grew by 150 percent year over year, although that number is likely to drop considerably thanks to the recent tightening of travel restrictions by the Trump administration.
U.S. tourists can still visit the island, but only using officially licensed legal Cuba tour operators.
Marrero said tourism revenues were about $1.5 billion in the first half of 2017, a 9 percent increase year over year.
The country is projecting a total of 4.7 million tourists this year, which would be a 500,000-tourist increase over last year.
Cuba plans to break the 5 million barrier by 2018.