Cuban tobacco industry sees rise in tourism


Unseasonably heavy rains have damaged Cuba's tobacco crop and raised questions about iconic cigar brands that some aficionados hope will not suffer from declining quality amid higher demand.

While foreign sales rose healthily last year, Cuban cigar industry officials say they have seen little impact on domestic sales from a boom in tourism that has brought hundreds of thousands of new visitors to Havana.

Tobacco operations receive tourists on group visits organized by state tourism agencies and foreigners by the hundreds receive lectures on Cuban tobacco.

Despite the flood of visitors since Cuba and the U.S. reestablished relations, some aspects of life in the provinces central Vinales valley have changed little.

Workers say they're eager to see more benefits of Cuba's increasing links to the outside world since the start of new relations with U.S., without losing the placid lifestyle of the last half-century.

Five Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Cuba
Five Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Cuba

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