Cuba holiday bookings on the rise, says new Kuoni report

Posted: 16-Feb-15 14:27

According to luxury travel operator Kuoni's latest report, Cuba is one of the fastest-growing long-haul Caribbean holiday destinations for British travellers. What are the reasons for this growth: the reduction in flight tax, the political situation or simply clever marketing?

Cuba holiday bookings on the rise, says new Kuoni report

Luxury travel operator Kuoni's latest report (based on booking data up to January 23, 2015) has found that Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Cambodia are the four fastest-growing long-haul holiday destinations for British travellers.

The Caribbean is enjoying especially strong sales with the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Antigua and Cuba all listed in Kuoni's fastest-rising destinations list for 2015.

Cuba has moved from 10th place to 7th up the best-sellers list - its highest ever ranking.

Kuoni managing director Derek Jones explained that marketing was a main factor, at least for the company itself:

"This has been one of the busiest January periods. Growth is down to more visibility for our brand having invested in bolder marketing - overall we're well ahead of last year and we're in a good position to see the destinations which are in demand for the year ahead."

The report echoes Jones' sentiments, saying:

"… local tourism authorities highlight its 'perfect' weather, beaches, scenery and nightlife in the Autentica Cuba marketing campaign".

Outside of canny branding, there's the wider social and political context. The relaxed regulations of the post-Castro era have seen tourism thriving, yet it still retains its authentic feel; the operator also attributes its growing popularity to Fidel Castro stepping down.

It remains to be seen how the recent moves to relax the US-Cuba trade embargo and normalise relations will affect the county and tourism; all signs point towards increased numbers, but there's a question mark over whether the island will retain its USPP: "its authenticity".

It was too early to say yet whether the recent air tax reduction was having a significant impact. Jones also commented:

"In our 50th year of operating in the UK market, we can clearly see how travel trends have changed over the decades."

Indeed, this year's report also gives an overview of changes in the way people research and buy worldwide holidays; the operator reports that their web traffic is at an all-time high, with more than 50 per cent of all searches coming from mobiles and tablets.


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