Russian tourist flow to Cuba has reached record level
In 2019, Cuba hosted a record number of Russian tourists. In terms of tourist flow, Russia firstly entered in the TOP-3 of the source markets of this Caribbean destination.
According to Juan Carlos Escalona, an adviser to the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba on tourism issues, almost 178 thousand citizens of the Russian Federation visited Cuba in 2019. This is 30% more than in 2018, and this is a record figure in the entire history of Russian-Cuban relations.
Also, the Russian Federation became the leader in arrivals among European countries, bypassing Germany, France and Spain. Totally, 4,3 million foreign tourists visited Cuba in 2019 (4,7 million guests in 2018).
Due to the constant tightening of US sanctions (American charters to Cuba resorts have been banned since January 2020), tourist flow from this country is declining, which affects Cuba’s overall inbound statistics. In 2019, 498 thousand American tourists visited the Caribbean country: this is 22% less than a year earlier.
In this regard, the importance of other source markets is growing. Today, charter flights to Cuban resorts are carried out by 4 leading Russian tour operators (Pegas Touristik, Anex Tour, Tui Russia and Coral Travel), and the Cuban side hopes to expand flight programs in 2020.
According to Mr. Escalona, in 2020 Cuba expects to host about 200 thousand Russian tourists. This year, Cuba will promote a combined product on the Russian market that will allow tourists not only to relax on the beach, but also get acquainted with the cultural and historical heritage of the country.