Former U.S. President Barack Obama had sought to normalize relations with Cuba, ending 50 years of enmity and reinstalling diplomatic ties in 2015. Incumbent President Donald Trump now wants to back-track on that policy and reinstate restrictions on travel and business between the United States and Cuba.
Unlike America, Canada never saw the comparatively small Caribbean island as a big threat and started normalizing relations in the 1970s, so its citizens started holidaying in Cuba in big numbers. Today, Canadians make up more than one third of all visitors, as the below infographic shows.
America's neighbor to the north had also been instrumental in mediating between the U.S. and Cuban delegations. Negotiations in December 2014 culminated in a framework to officially normalize relations and end a long-standing embargo by the United States.
According to the latest statistics published by the Cuban statistics and information department ONEI
, international visits have increased by half million in a year-over-year comparison. While in 2014 more than 3 million international visitors were counted, in 2015 half 3.5 visitors made their way to Cuba.
Interestingly enough, the Cuban statisticians count expats visiting their home country into the tourism statistics. They actually make up the second biggest group after Canadians. The second biggest foreign tourist group is from Germany. 175,000 Germans visited in 2015. Tourism is the most important source of foreign revenue for Cuba.