The greatest increase came from U.S.-based travelers.

By Melanie Lieberman
January 06, 2017
Cuba record visitor numbers
Credit: YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images

Cuba’s tourism ministry reported 4 million visitors in 2016, a 13 percent increase from 2015.

The greatest increase in visitors came from the United States, which should come as no surprise.

We’ve been watching Cuba’s rise in popularity since December 2014, when President Obama first announced plans to restore a diplomatic relationship between the United States and Cuba. That’s when it started becoming easier for Americans to visit the island nation that floats just 90 miles off Floridian shores. In 2016, Travel + Leisure named Cuba as one of the best places to travel.

The Caribbean island became even more accessible last summer, when the first commercial flight from the U.S. to Cuba in more than half a century landed in Santa Clara. An increase from cruises—including those originating in the U.S.—also helped drive visitor growth.

There’s no sign of Cuba’s tourism boom slowing down, either. But don’t worry about Cuba being overrun anytime soon: The number of tourist arrivals is still relatively low compared to the local population.