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“I Hope That, during My Tenure as Minister, We Will Reach Half a Million Russian Tourists»

SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, Mexico. – Juan Carlos García Granda, Minister of Tourism in Cuba, expressed his hope that, in the short term, the number of Russian tourists could rise to half a million, while he is in the position he now holds.

The Cuban regime expects to receive more than 200,000 Russian tourists this year and up to half a million in the future, as optimistically stated by the Minister of Tourism at a press conference with the Russian news agency TASS.

In turn, he added: “I hope that in the short term, as long as I continue to be minister, we reach half a million.”

In that same session, García Granda, who traveled to Moscow as part of a regime delegation that will participate in the XXI session of the intergovernmental commission for economic-commercial and scientific-technical collaboration between Cuba and Russia, stated that the Russian MIR payment card has arrived “to stay and boost Russian tourism in the Caribbean nation,” as reported by the EFE news agency.

As part of the boost they intend to give to tourism that comes from the Eurasian nation, they created “many more features” to attract customers.

Among these, García Granda emphasized and celebrated as an achievement the fact that payments can now be made in rubles. In triumphantly manner, he reported that during the first months of operations, more than 2.7 million dollars have been transferred through MIR cards.

There are about 20,000 POS terminals in major stores and tourist spots throughout the country, and he promises that this number will grow.

“This is something that is going to grow, and all the conditions have been created for it to happen,” he stated, once again counting on visitors from this ally of the Cuban government to save the numbers of the depressed sector.

Julio Garmendía, Cuba’s ambassador to Moscow, had pointed out in past months that they were “on the right track” after the increase in operations with Russian payment cards.

Amid an increase in the regime’s efforts to promote tourism in that nation, they are also developing television programs focused on this objective. “We are working on the development of new tourist products,” added the diplomat, without providing details on the type of programs or advertising shorts being created for this purpose.

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) reported, citing the Cuban Ministry of Tourism, that the flow of tourists from Russia to Cuba in 2023 increased 3.4 times compared to the 184,800 Russians from the previous year, thus surpassing the pre-pandemic record.

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