Cuba plans to host 130 thousand Russian tourists in 2018
In the new winter season tour operators are significantly expanding their charter flight programs to Cuba. The Tourism Adviser of the Embassy of Cuba in Russia Edilberto Riveron Leon told about the reasons of the noticeable growth of the Russian tourist flow, the forecasts for the upcoming winter season and new priorities in tourism strategy. “It is noteworthy that 2017 was the most successful year by the number of tourist arrivals from Russia. Last year 106,000 Russians visited Cuba, the previous record was recorded only in 1986, when 86,000 tourists from Russia visited Cuba. This year the positive dynamics persists. If we talk about current indicators, according to statistics as of August 15, 2018, we can note the growth of the flow of Russian tourists by 20% against the same period of 2017. So, by the middle of the year 80,000 Russians have already visited Cuba. For comparison, last year at this time the island was visited only by 65,000 Russian tourists. If we talk about the place of Russia in incoming flow to Cuba, the country confidently is in the TOP-10 of our key markets. The leader is Canada, due to external factors (the flight time is 3, 5 hours). On the second place is the USA, then the countries of Europe - France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain - and Mexico. The winter flight program begins already in autumn, and this year the number of charter flights from Russia will increase. This is primarily due to the opening of new directions - Holguin, Camagüey and the region of Santa Clara. The charter chain of PEGAS Touristik tour operator to Holguin will be continued. The flight program will be carried out once in 10 days. Moreover, this tour operator launches flights from Moscow to Camagüey, Santa Clara and will continue to fly to the island of Cayo Coco. This season ANEX Tour operator will join PEGAS Touristik in this direction. All these programs will be implemented also once in 10 days. To Varadero PEGAS Touristik doubles the number of charters: from the end of October there will be 2 flights for 10 days. That is, only to Varadero 5-6 flights a month will be carried out by one tour operator. ANEX Tour also adds another flight on the route Moscow - Varadero and continues a flight from St. Petersburg. That is, to Varadero the flight program of this player will be carried out 2 times in 10 days. The rest of flights are carried out by regular flights of Aeroflot 5 times a week to Havana. By the end of 2018 we look for a very good result: we plan to host more than 130 thousand Russian tourists in Cuba”.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.