Engineer Omar Gomez, 46, (C), takes a selfie with his family during his first visit to Cuba after he left the island to the U.S. when he was 5 years old, in old Havana, in this January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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Cuba's tourism industry is under unprecedented strain and struggling to meet demand with record numbers of visitors arriving a year after detente with the United States renewed interest in the Caribbean island.Cuba received a record 3.52 million visitors last year, up 17.4 percent from 2014 .American visits rose 77 percent to 161,000, not counting hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans. The United States and Cuba agreed in December 2014 to end five decades of animosity and have since restored diplomatic ties, igniting international buzz about Cuba.California native Tony Pandola, 33, who has been leading Americans around Cuba for three years, said once-intimate experiences are now plagued by crowds.Retired teacher Joanna Sarff finally came to Cuba after dreaming about it for 50 years, so she refused to let the inconveniences spoil her trip, saying she was more focused on plans to dance on the tables at a Buena Vista Social Club concert than the crowds.
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