Cuba woos Europe at Italian, Portuguese and German tourism fairs ahead of international tourism fair on home turf

Posted: 10-Mar-15 12:52

The Cuban Tourism Ministry has sent delegates to international tourism fairs around Europe to showcase the island's many charms. The first quarter of the year has seen them present to hundreds of thousands of visitors, ranging from holidaymakers to industry decision makers.

Cuba woos Europe at Italian, Portuguese and German tourism fairs ahead of international tourism fair on home turf

Following a report by the Cuban Tourism Ministry (MINTUR), pressing for authorities to attract more tourists to the country, Cuban delegates are on a charm offensive to highlight the Caribbean island's world-renowned beaches, UNESCO heritage city sites and incredible natural beauty.

Over three days in mid-February, a large team of delegates descended on Milan for the 35th edition of the International Tourism Market, BIT 2015. The delegation to Milan was headed up by representatives of the Tourism Ministry and the tourism office of the Cuban Embassy to Italy, the Havanatur International Tour Operator Group and its representatives in various locations, not to mention representatives of Iberostar, Barcelo, Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts and Roc Hotels.

Its main objectives were to boost tourism, create opportunities for Italian investors, and promote this year's Italy-centric edition of FITCuba, Cuba's own International Tourism Fair, at which Italy will be guest of honour. FITCuba will be held on May 5-7, 2015 in Jardines del Rey, a popular tourist spot north of the central Ciego de Avila province.

Late February saw the Cuban mission fly to Lisbon, Portugal for the 26th edition of the prestigious four-day BTL 2015, exhibiting before nearly 70,000 visitors from 25 countries and promoting new hotel and extra-hotel suggestions for the winter season. It was the ideal place to announce that as of July this year, a charter flight will operate from Portugal to Jardines del Rey, and will increase the number of flights to the Varadero beach resort.

Leisure and tourism professionals, and members of the public, were able to take in showcases of Havana, Cayo Largo, Varadero, the cays of northern Villa Clara, Jardines del Rey, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba.

These locations also happen to be favourites of German tourists - and there, Cuba has just packed up its exhibits at the International Tourism Fair ITB 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Taking place in the first week of March, the Cuban Tourism Ministry this time looked towards Germany to establish a foothold in the European tourism market and boosting professional industry ties.

February and March have been busy months for the Cuban delegation in Europe. Although the historic thaw in relations with America has renewed some optimism for bringing infrastructure out of mid-century time warp, it's clear that Cuba isn't relying on dollar alone to create a vibrant and popular destination.


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