Cuba to promote tourist offerings in Mexico

Havana, Jun 11 (EFE).- Cuban tourism industry representatives plan a June 16-23 swing through several Mexican cities to promote the "Autentica Cuba" campaign, the Tourism Ministry said.

Representatives of hotel operators, including Melia, Cubanacan, Hotel Royal Hicacos, Iberostar, Habaguanex, BlueBay and Gaviota; travel agencies Cubatur, Paradiso and San Cristobal; and airlines Cubana de Aviacion, Interjet and AeroMexico will visit Monterrey, Guadalajara, Leon, Queretaro and Mexico City, the ministry said.

The "Autentica Cuba" campaign is aimed at getting Mexican tourists and tourism industry executives to visit Cuba, the ministry said.

Mexico is one of the main source markets for Cuba's tourism industry.

Cuba welcomed 947,891 foreign tourists in the January-March 2013 period, with 48.9 percent arriving from Canada, which has been the top source of visitors to the island for many years.

A total of 8,176 Mexicans visited the island during the same period, the Cuban National Statistics Office said.

Cuba welcomed 2.8 million tourists last year, up 4.5 percent from 2011, and expects 3 million visitors in 2013 despite the weak global economic outlook and the elimination of flights to the island by some carriers.

Tourism is Cuba's No. 2 source of foreign exchange, generating more than $2.6 billion in 2012.