Cuba sees tourism rise, French will renovate Havana airport

HAVANA – Cuban officials say more than 2 million tourists have visited Cuba this year, putting the country on track for a record number of visitors. They’re bringing badly needed cash to an economy facing a sharp reduction in subsidized oil from Venezuela.

Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero says visitor numbers are running 12 per cent ahead of last year, which already saw a record number of tourists. The surge is credited to a wave of international interest in Cuba prompted by the announcement of U.S.-Cuba detente in Dec. 2014. Visitor numbers are expected to get a major boost after commercial flights from the United States begin this month.

The government also announced Wednesday that the French government’s Aeroports de Paris company will receive a concession to operate and renovate Havana’s international airport.