Cuba gears up for more Chinese tourist arrivals in upcoming peak season, tourism insider says

Cuba gears up for more Chinese tourist arrivals in upcoming peak season, tourism insider says
Fecha de publicación: 
7 October 2023
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Cuba hopes to resume direct flights with China and is gearing up for an influx of Chinese tourists during its upcoming peak season, a tourism insider has said.

"Cuba is anxiously anticipating the arrival of Chinese tourists," Yoelkis Salazar, director of Havanatur S.A., Cuba's largest travel agency, told Xinhua in a recent interview from Guardalavaca, a seaside town in northeastern Cuba.

Guardalavaca is just one of the many resort towns in Cuba, which Salazar described as a comprehensive tourist destination with sunshine, beaches, history, culture, and most importantly, warm and hospitable people.

"We look forward to seeing more Chinese tourists coming in the upcoming tourist peak season that will start in November and throughout 2024, and we are working hard on this," Salazar said.

He added that Cuba is seeking to revitalize its tourism industry, and sees tapping into the Chinese market as a key to achieving this goal.

Data from the Cuban Ministry of Tourism shows that from 2010 to 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Chinese tourists to Cuba grew at an average annual rate of about 23 percent.

"China still ranked 14th among Cuba's source countries for tourists, representing a huge market with sustained potential," he said. "Our goal is to allow Chinese tourists to have a comprehensive understanding of Cuba."

In fact, prior to the pandemic, attracting Chinese tourists was already a top priority in Cuba's tourism development strategy. Cuba formulated several cooperation agreements with China and trained a group of Chinese-speaking tour guides and administrative staff.

"Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed our plans for a while, now is the right time," he said, hoping that Cuba will soon resume direct flights with China, which will help attract more Chinese tourists.

In December 2020, Cuba and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen tourism cooperation. The two partners are also actively seeking to strengthen exchanges in sustainable tourism and World Heritage preservation. 

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