Cuba to continue relying on Russian tourism: Minister
Cuba's minister of tourism says that Russia is of great importance to Cuban tourism.
Cuba will continue to rely on Russian tourism, despite the difficulties with air and financial communications, Cuban Tourism Minister Juan Carlos Garcia Granda told Sputnik.
During a press meeting before the 40th international tourism fair in the resort of Varadero, the Minister indicated that "Russia is of great importance for Cuban tourism."
He pointed out that "we think that it will be between the second and fourth most important market, second only to Canada and Cubans living abroad because of the distance."
Garcia expressed regret at the absence of Russia at the event, which will be held from May 3-7 in the resort - 120 kilometers east of Havana. This year, Moscow was supposed to be a guest of honor at the fair.
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According to Cuba's national statistics office (ONEI), in 2021, the largest number of tourists in Cuba flew from Russia (146,155) and Canada (68,944).
US and EU sanctions against Russia after launching its special military operation in Ukraine include, among other things, a ban on the use of airspace and restrictions on the use of Visa and Mastercard payment systems. In the last two months, the Russian tourist flow to Cuba has stopped.
It is noteworthy that the Cuban government had asserted that NATO's expansion toward Russia's borders resulted in a conflict that could have been avoided.