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Cuba reports tourist importance of geoparks

Havana, Jun 27 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) today reported a boom in the tourist attraction of Geosites and Geoparks, along with other scenarios of this type in this archipelago.

A press release specified that last year, 118 sites of geological interest or geosites related to 49 nature tourism products received 151,813 visitors, raising 22 million 152,966 pesos (one dollar is equivalent to 124 Cuban pesos at the official exchange rate).

This information was recently released at the National Geoparks Committee, which met at the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) with the presence of 13 agencies of the Central State Administration, the message said.

It was explained at the meeting that the geosites approved and published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba now total 504 throughout the national territory.

Work is currently underway on new proposals in the provinces of Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque and Santiago de Cuba, as well as on a set of geosites located on the marine platform of the archipelago.

For the occasion, it was valued the recent approval of the Gran Piedra Geopark, on April 26th, managed by the Eastern Centre for Ecosystems and Biodiversity (BIOECO) and covering the Sierra de la Gran Piedra, the Alturas de Santa María de Loreto and part of the Mar Verde-Baconao Coastal Terraces, all in the province of Santiago de Cuba.

This space covers an area of 571.1 square kilometres (km2). It was also mentioned that work is underway on two more projects: one in Guamuhaya, in south-central Cuba, and another in Sierra de Cubitas, north of Camagüey (east).