Cuba holidays attracting the Russian market with Soviet nostalgia
Cuban authorities are playing off the 'nostalgia' card in order to attract the Russian market to Cuba holidays. Based on the strong ties these two countries once shared during the Soviet years, Cuba aims to create a unique holiday destination for them.
The island is already expecting to attract some 45,000 Russian tourists coming on Cuba holidays this year, as officials said during a release published on Monday. And now it seems that the way to be targeting those Russian visitors is by offering them with a unique ‘air of nostalgia’, a feeling many Russians have been left with from the Caribbean island's long-running alliance with the former Soviet superpower.
With the number of Russians taking Cuba holidays having soared 22 % so far this year, (when compared against 2009 figures during the same period) Commercial Director of Cuba’s Tourism Ministry, Jose Manuel Bisbe said last week that Russia has been gradually becoming an important target market as a source of visitors to the country and the idea is to develop joint projects to strenghten this Russia-Cuba travel trend. Bisbe added that for this purpose the 30th International Tourism Fair taking place this week in Havana would be devoted to the Russian tourists in order to raise awareness about the great assets Cuba holidays can offer to Russian visitors. Among these assets, Cuban tourist authorities will be playing the ‘nostalgia’ card with the regards to the two countries’ strong ties during the Soviet years. This ‘nostalgic’ representation of Cuba holidays was displayed to Russian travel specialists attending the fair. Bisbe also said the economic crisis had caused a drop in visitors last year.
Alexander Radkov, vice president of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, is attending the FITCUBA 2010 fair, an event that takes place annually to highlight the Caribbean island's wealth of beautiful white sand beaches and tropical sun. Mr Radkov who says that beaches and sun were one of the main factors prompting Russians to take Cuba holidays, came along with dozens of Russian business representatives to expand ties with Cuban authorities in the travel sector.
According to officials Havana's secret weapon for Russian tourists is ‘nostalgia’, as Cuba holidays have a deeper meaning for Russian travellers, playing off a 30-year relationship between the countries due to a once strong political and economic alliance between them. Despite relations having deteriorated following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 ties have been growing back over the last five years.
Russia will be attending the FITCUBA 2010 with a delegation of some 30 businessmen and officials with organisers of the event having announced the participation of tourism operators, travel agencies, airlines and specialised press from many countries.
The Cuba holidays industry is the country’s second largest economic sector after medical services, with the island having a total of of 47,000 rooms available in 300 tourist Cuba hotels around the island.
Running this week from 3th – 8th May, 2010, FITCUBA is the single most important even in Cuba’s travel and tourism industry. Its main objective is the promotion of Cuba holidays as top Caribbean holiday destination.
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