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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: The Strategy for Sustainable Tourism

Cuba's tourism industry, a major hard-currency earner in the country's economy, has grown steadily in an environment that prioritizes sustainable tourism.

In addition to traditional sun and beach options, and exuberant nature, Cuba also offers its culture and traditions, which are key elements of the island's tourist product.

The preservation of the environment and the exploitation of tourist destinations without damaging the environment have gained relevance in Cuba.

Cities characterized by well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, hotels that promote plastic arts, humankind's heritage sites, and celebrations and festivities all year around make up Cuba's tourist offers.

Cuba's natural assets can be found in more than 4,000 keys and islets, where vacationers can enjoy a wide range of options, including bird watching.

Therefore, traditional tourist options are combined with excursions to natural, ecological and biosphere reserves, protected areas and national parks.

Viñales Valley
Yunque de Baracoa (Baracoa`s Anvil)
Town of Remedios. Church

Cuban fauna is very diverse and consists of more than 350 species birds that live on islets and keys throughout the country, where a high level of endemism is reported.

In addition, the archipelago's geographic location turns Cuba into a corridor for migratory birds that travel long distances from North America to South America and vice versa.

Regions in western and central Cuba have a huge potential to develop sustainable tourism, especially the country's westernmost province, Pinar del Río, which holds breathtakingly beautiful sites such as Las Terrazas, where a project that combines sustainable development and tourism is being carried out.

Also in Pinar del Río is the Viñales Valley – declared a Cultural Landscape and Humankind's Heritage – which is characterized by peculiar round-topped hills, called "mogotes".

Pinar del Río also has many cavern, including the caves of El Indio (through which the San Vicente River runs), José Miguel and Santo Tomás. The latter is one of the biggest cavern systems in Latin America, with more than 45 kilometers of galleries.

Experts say that the Zapata Peninsula, in western Matanzas province, is one of the largest swamps in the insular Caribbean, covering an area of 5,000 square kilometers of forests, swamps, lagoons and canals.

The region's exuberant flora, with more than 900 autochthonous species, including 115 native to Cuba, is complemented by 160 species of birds and 12 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, especially crocodiles.

White-sand beaches of crystal-clear water, exotic forests, rivers, lakes, flooded caverns, natural pools, pristine regions and swamp savannahs are a safe haven for 30 percent of Cuba's autochthonous fauna.

Cuban nature is also beautiful underground, as more than 60 percent of the country's territory is made up of calcareous rocks, which were eroded during the glacial period and by natural elements, creating the largest caverns in the region.

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