Cuban Tourism Ministry keen on developing Green Cuba holidays
Cuba's Tourism Minister has declared that the future of Cuba holidays lies in its Eco-tourism potential and expressed his eagerness on diversifying the Eco-Cuba holiday appeal with a wider range of green tourist options and activities
Amidst dipping tourism revenues that continue to decrease despite the increasing number of visitors to the island, the Cuban government has taken action and decided to discuss the taking of a few measures in order to boost another kind of Cuba holidays, a new kind of Green tourism in the island.
This week Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) gathered the top leaders from their European and Canadian tour operators to discuss the development and creation of more eco-friendly Cuba holidays. The conference was specifically aimed and directed at boosting a segment of the market that at the moment only accounts for 4% of all foreign visits.
Tourism Minister, Alexis Trujillo said: “We will always be a sun and sand destination, but we want to diversify. Eco-tourism is the future."
Expecting a 3% increase in the total arrival of overseas tourists to top last year’s record figure of 2.35 million, Trujillo said that despite the increase in visitors, price cuts necessary to keep demand high amidst the global recession, have meant that overall revenues will now fail to meet the $2.5 billion generated in 2008. Whereas the Cuba holidays appeal has continued to raise sky high, reductions in price have kept the profits margins very low and a green push is thought to help suffering margins recover.
Cuba now wants to appeal to those environmentally conscious holidaymakers, who are often willing to pay premium prices and stay longer than those looking for cheap beach getaways. Eco-tourists can thus boost profits as they focus not only nature – hiking, bird-watching, scuba-diving, biking - but also on the country’s social and cultural charms, whilst at the same trying to make as little negative impact as possible on nature.
"There's enough to see and do that's green. It can get tourists coming and keep them coming," said a U.S.-based tour operator who has visited the island four times -"When the embargo is dropped and there are more U.S. tourists, Eco-tourism could be a boom. But it needs to be managed very carefully."
And Constanze Walsdorf, a saleswoman for Aventura Touirs in Germany reinforces this idea: "There's a lot of interest," she said, "and it's growing." Her company, which offers about 15 environmentally friendly trips to Cuba, said business has remained brisk despite Europe’s moribund economy.
Cuba ranks among the world leaders in low greenhouse-gas emission, the general output of heavy industry is low and the environmental impact reduced, making Cuba holidays very appealing to the potential new market of green tourists.
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