HAVANA, Feb. 21 -- A year ago, Carlos Millo was renting out rooms to foreigners in the picturesque town of Vinales, a popular tourist getaway in rural Cuba.

Now, Millo and other townsfolk have had to return to an age-old means of survival, growing their own food as the coronavirus pandemic has robbed them of holidaymakers.

"We have had to return to the land," he told AFP while dusting soil from the chard plants he has started to grow in a 50-square-metre garden behind his house.

Until the global health crisis, tourism directly and indirectly provided an income for about 80 per cent of the 28,000-odd residents of the town nestled in a fertile valley surrounded by dramatic limestone outcrops known as "mogotes."

Just a decade ago, Vinale...