Cuba’s economic prospects are tied to rise of US tourism

Image copyright AFP Image caption Obama visited Cuba in 2015 on his final visit to the country

According to a report from Bloomberg , the European Union and Japan have regained over 7 million of the over 20 million visitors the United States was losing to Canada and China.

“I’m optimistic about the growth of the American-European traveler,” German ambassador to the US Ronald Woll told Bloomberg .

Cuba in particular is expected to benefit from this trend. The Foreign Ministry and the hotel industry in the island said they are expecting to receive 7 million tourists this year.

However, analysts caution that with a broader trend of transatlantic travel, the A and A factor (American and EU visitors) is likely to lose its predominance.

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Second meeting of Americas, the Americas 70 conference, took place in Lima, Peru, on October 15-17th and organised by the Permanent Council of the Association of Latin American and Caribbean States (CALCAS).

The first meeting, the Americas 60 conference, was held in Mexico in 2009 with the aim of restoring America’s global reach. Afterwards a new period of the Americas was inaugurated in 2015 and the search for new dynamics grew.

Meanwhile, France has opened its own diplomatic missions in Cuba and Mexico and is the third-largest source of tourists for Mexico.

In other ways, Cuba itself is seeking to move towards a more open and diversified economy. In March, the country opened its largest foreign trade centre in Europe at Matanzas, just over the border from the Netherlands. At the same time, the island’s tourism services commission is studying the possibility of having a transportation centre in Uruguay.

In 2016, El Salvador opened the first police station in its history – an immigration office – on a stretch of beach south of the capital, San Salvador. The US Embassy in El Salvador was due to open in 2019 but a lack of funds has delayed the event for almost two years.

There is currently no legal way for the travel or the sale of firearms across borders between the US and Mexico . Nevertheless, there have been reports of multiple killings in Mexico involving people who had changed their names and acquired new identities, allegedly in a bid to secure visas or Mexican passports from the US.

Similar concerns have been raised about the use of this practice in Guatemala. When there is pressure in one country to change their nationality, there is a risk there will be reciprocal pressure elsewhere, said Carlos Valverde, executive director of the Network of Latin American Governments in the Americas (UNLAGAM). “People coming from one country are likely to decide that their new nationality or visa is safer in that other country, especially if they are coming from another conflict zone.”

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