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Cubans rush to the beach ahead of anticipated U.S. tourism surge

Tuesday, September 01, 2015 - 01:02

Domestic tourism increases in Cuba as residents flock to the country's sandy resort towns as they anticipate the possible end of a U.S. travel ban to the island which could lead to a surge in prices. Pavithra George reports.

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Cuba is witnessing a domestic tourism boom - as these LOCAL tourists are taking in the sandy beaches of Varadero before the Americans get here. Cuba is anticipating a surge in American tourists -- if the current U.S. travel ban is lifted. And that would bump up prices, putting these beaches out of reach of ordinary Cubans. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CASHIER, IRENIA GOMEZ OVIEDO, SAYING: "With the basic Cuban salary, you could never even dream of having a vacation with your family. Never." Visitor Madelin Barcelo said the high numbers of Cubans at the Varadero beach was an eye-opener. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) TOURIST, MADELIN BARCELO, SAYING: "You walk through the streets of Varadero and you notice that it is full of Cubans, absolutely full. Before you would see a lot of (foreign) tourists, but now Varadero is full of Cubans." Experts in the tourism industry predict 150,000 Americans will visit Cuba by the end of this year, up from 91,000 in 2014.... leading many to believe there could be massive growth in coming years

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Cubans rush to the beach ahead of anticipated U.S. tourism surge

Tuesday, September 01, 2015 - 01:02