U.S. tourism to Cuba bounced back in June from a months-long slump, bolstered by increased visits from cruise ships that have emerged as the most vibrant part of a sector hurt by deteriorating relations under President Donald Trump.
Three different sources with access to Cuban tourism industry data said 68,000 Americans, not including Americans of Cuban origin on family visits, traveled to the Caribbean state in June, a 5 percent increase from a year ago.
Even with that revival, the number of U.S. visitors to Cuba for the first half overall - not including Cuban-Americans - slumped 24 percent to 266,000, the sources said.
In the period from January through June, some 50 percent of those U.S. visitors arrived on cruise ships, compared with 25 percent a year earlier, as operators such as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd added more stops on the island to their itineraries.
The U.S. blockade restricts Americans who visit the island to non-tourist activities such as cultural, religious and educational travel or family visits. / RHC