HAVANA — The number of American travelers to Cuba rose 84 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2015, authorities say.
Cuban state news agency Prensa Latina reported that Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero announced the figure Thursday to members of parliament, reflecting a continuing surge in U.S. interest in the island amid a broader diplomatic thaw between the Cold War foes that began in late 2014.
The total number of U.S. visitors was not made public, although for all of last year, nearly 160,000 leisure travelers flew to Cuba. The figures do not include the hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans who travel to the island each year on family visits.
Overall tourism to Cuba was up 11.7 percent for the first six months of 2016, with a total of 2,147,600 foreign travelers to the island, Prensa Latina reported.