12 Jul 2013 11:19

HAVANA, July 4 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA) -- A new air route to connect Cienfuegos, a southern Cuban city, with Miami in the U.S. state of Florida, via Grand Cayman will be launched later this year, a local official said Wednesday.

The move is intended to promote tourism, said Boris Suarez, the director of the Jaime Gonzalez International Airport in Cienfuegos, the Cuban city about 250 kilometres from Havana, the Cuban national capital.

The airport in Cienfuegos has been receiving five direct flights a week from Miami, home to a large Cuban expatriate population, according to Suarez. The airport also provides temporary air flight services to the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal from December to March, a high tourism season.

He said the existing flight route linking Havana with the Grand Cayman and Miami has been very popular among Cubans traveling to the southern U.S. state.

There are about two million Cuban immigrants residing in the United States.

Tourism has been a prime source of Cuba's foreign currency. It generated US$2.6 billion in revenue with 2.838 million visitors last year.

The country is hoping to receive 3 million tourists this year.