Cuban Cu­ri­ousity DRAWS BOOK­INGS

Travel Bulletin - - SOUTH AMERICA -

THE loos­en­ing of travel re­stric­tions to Cuba in re­cent years has re­sulted in an in­flux of book­ings to the Caribbean is­land na­tion. Trav­ellers are itch­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence the so­cial­ist out­post be­fore it changes for good and they can no longer ex­pe­ri­ence the ‘real’ Cuba. Tour op­er­a­tors have wit­nessed this ea­ger­ness first­hand. “Cuba has been one of the strong­est hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions of 2016,” man­ag­ing direc­tor of Con­tours Travel Ted Dzi­ad­kiewicz told travel bul­letin. “There has been a no­table in­crease in book­ings that has main­tained it­self for the first half of 2016,” he con­tin­ues. Head of mar­ket­ing, sales and prod­uct at Travel the World, Deb Cor­bett agreed, say­ing “In­ter­est in Cuba as a des­ti­na­tion has in­creased dra­mat­i­cally over the last cou­ple of years”. Both Dzi­ad­kiewicz and Cor­bett be­lieve one of the key rea­sons for the hype around Cuba is me­dia fo­cus that has been on the des­ti­na­tion. “With the amount of me­dia cov­er­age around Cuba and the US nor­mal­is­ing their re­la­tion­ship, peo­ple are un­der the im­pres­sion that Cuba will change overnight and they want to get there and see it be­fore it does,” Dzi­ad­kiewicz ex­plains. “How­ever, we can­not stress enough that these changes oc­cur over time and that they still have time to see the ‘orig­i­nal’ Cuba”. This year, for the first time, tour op­er­a­tor Tauck, which is rep­re­sented in Aus­tralia by Travel the World, has of­fered two Cuban itin­er­ar­ies. Due to their in­cred­i­ble pop­u­lar­ity both the jour­neys will be of­fered again in 2017 with an in­creased num­ber of de­par­ture dates for both the seven and 13-day itin­er­ar­ies. “Many of the dates are al­ready sold out,” says Cor­bett. Con­tours of­fers ten Cuban jour­neys from ad­ven­ture trips to Havana stopovers. Dzi­ad­kiewicz pre­dicts the di­rect flights from the USA start­ing up later this year will see Cuba con­tinue its fast paced growth in pop­u­lar­ity and de­mand.

Havana, Cuba

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