Cuba's a winner for UK tour operator and top 10 choice overall; could the UK election be the reason?

Posted: 13-Apr-15 18:06

Cuba's vintage appeal and unspoiled charms are helping give tour operators' winter bookings a welcome boost - but why is it proving so popular this spring? Another travel firm, DealChecker, has the possible answer: tourists are voting with their feet ahead of the general election this coming May.

Cuba's a winner for UK tour operator and top 10 choice overall; could the UK election be the reason?

The appeal of Cuba is helping give tour operators a boost, with its winter holiday trade increased to the tune of 9% on last year, and summer holiday packages by 4%. Cuba in particular is proving a favourite for winter sun-seekers.

According to comparison site DealChecker., the upcoming UK general election could be a factor: it seems there's a definite pattern emerging in holiday bookings. Travellers are appearing to give election fatigue a wide berth by heading for US destinations New York and Las Vegas, Spain (Benidorm and Fuerteventura), or Turkey. Cuba is also in the top 10 most-searched destinations, along with Greece, Egypt, Magaluf and Malta, for departure in early May 2015.

However, Alice Mariscotti-Wyatt of DealChecker warned that this season will see busy polling stations around the world, so it's wise to research your destination of choice. She said:

"Choose carefully – if it really is the politics you are trying to avoid, a few of the most popular destinations are in the midst of their own election campaigns. Egypt is due to go to the polls in May or June 2015 and Turkey's elections are also set to take place this June."

There's plenty happening in Cuba politically, following the recent moves to normalise diplomatic relations between America and Cuba, but it's not causing any instability to worry about. And now is a great time to vote with your feet; there's a definite sense of change in the air, but under the new US-Cuba travel regulations it's still not possible for American tourists to fly directly to the island.

Unlike them, UK travellers can fly in on tourist visas; before the anticipated influx of Americans, there won't be quite as much competition for hotel rooms – which could affect prices.

If you apply for a postal vote by April 28, you can cast it while sunning yourself on the white-sand beaches of Varadero, or enjoying mojitos in Old Havana. Compared with wall-to-wall election coverage, which seems more likely to get your vote?


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