Cuba and Russia to strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector

Cuba and Russia to strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector
Fecha de publicación: 
24 May 2024
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 Tamara Valido Benitez, chairwoman of the Committee on Services of the Cuban Parliament, and Sangadzhi A. Tarbaev, chairman of the Committee for Tourism and Development of Tourism Infrastructure of the State Duma of Russia, exchanged views on the prospects and potential for strengthening cooperation in tourism, especially from the parliamentary sphere, via videoconference.

At the beginning of the talks, Valido Benitez stated that this virtual meeting is undoubtedly a valuable opportunity that reflects the excellent state of bilateral relations between the two countries and, especially, between the two parliaments.

First of all, she conveyed the greetings of the Cuban Parliament, Esteban Lazo Hernández, to the Russian lawmakers; as well as highlighted the relevance of the recent meeting held in Moscow between the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel.

For his part, Sangadzhi A. Tarbaev recalled that barely more than a year has passed since the last meeting between the two parliamentary committees, on April 29, 2023, within the framework of the official visit to Cuba of Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia.

Since then, relations between the two countries have been significantly strengthened, he acknowledged.

In his speech, he highlighted the preference of Russian tourists for Cuba, especially for its resorts and sun and beach options, as well as the potential of the island to be a bridge for Russian tourism to Latin America and the Caribbean, for which it is essential to strengthen air connectivity.

Tarbaev pointed out as a strength, among the initiatives to encourage the presence of Russian tourism in Cuba, the possibility of making payments with MIR system cards, positioning our nation as a safe and competitive destination for Russian travelers. “There are already around 20,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals in Cuba that accept MIR cards, located in hotels, stores and restaurants in the main markets and tourist spots, in addition to being able to be used at ATMs.

On the other hand, he emphasized the progress made in training in the field of tourism between academic institutions of both countries, with the operation of three training centers for specialists in this sector; and that a cooperation agreement has been signed between the Russian State University of Tourism and Services and the Central University “Marta Abreu” of Las Villas.

“Despite the difficulties and the geographical distance that separates us, we have the most important thing which is the political will of our leaders to move forward,” stressed the Chairman of the Committee for Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure Development of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

Both parties agreed on the relevance of increasing the number of Russian cities from which there are direct flights to Cuba, particularly from St. Petersburg; of achieving superior results in the short and medium terms; of increasing the promotion and publicity of the Cuban destination in different Russian regions, through social networks and travel agencies; of strengthening investments; and of increasing corporate business tourism projects, among other initiatives.

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