Cuba to begin tourism with charters to island resorts
Cuba reported about the approved scenario of the returning of foreign tourism. Potentially, charter flights from Russia will be the first who could return to Caribbean resorts.
International tourism in Cuba will be resumed at the second stage of recovery of the state to normal life with strict sanitary protocols.
The first foreign tourists will be hosted by island resorts in the north (Santa Maria, Cayo Coco) and the south of the country (Cayo Largo). Tourists will arrive on charter flights. Hotels on these three islands will operate in a limited load format to ensure social distance.
Tourists are only allowed to travel within their tourist areas. Excursions to Havana and other provinces of the country are still banned in order to limit the contacts of foreigners with the local population.
The start date of international flights has not yet been determined, however, according to Cuban air authorities, all air operations will be suspended at least until August 1.
The Russian market has a potentially high chance of returning to Cuba one of the first.
Thanks to the expansion of flight programs of tour operators (charters to Cuba in the season 2019/2020 were arranged by Anex Tour, Pegas Touristik, Tui Russia and Coral Travel), Russia in 2020 became the second most important source market for Cuba.
By the time of the suspension of charter programs to Cuba (as of March 17, 2020), 60 233 arrivals from Russia were registered, which is 52% higher than in the same period in 2019.
Pegas Touristik carried out charters to Cayo Coco, Tui performed tours to Santa Maria (with arrival to Santa Clara airport). So the Russian players are familiar with these resorts.
According to experts, after the opening of the Russian borders, Cuba may be included in the first list of countries where flights will be allowed.
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.