Tourists are flocking to see Cuba before Fidel Castro dies, according to adventure travel specialists Explore and Exodus.
Exodus product manager Dan Cockburn said: “Since Castro has fallen ill again, there has been an increase in visitors as there’s worry he could die in the next few years.”
Cuba’s appeal rests in its unique position in the Caribbean. Places such as Havana and Trinidad appear stuck in a time warp, with vintage American cars and crumbling colonial architecture.
But fears have been raised that the country may lose its charm when the ailing Cuban communist leader dies. Explore’s product manager Jason Beevis said: “Cuba is still a sleepy island where the locals have little but are very friendly and generous to visitors. If Castro dies and the Americans move in, the worry is that this will all change.”
Boutique properties in Cuba have seen a surge in popularity. Kuoni’s Latin America product manager Bill Jessup said: “We have seen a trend towards small, upmarket properties in colonial-era buildings. The owners have only just started renovating them due to an increasing interest in tourism.”
He added: “People go to Cuba to see the history and culture of the country. It’s unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean.”
Grand Iberostar is a new boutique property in the colonial town of Trinidad. It has 40 rooms, is centrally located and can be booked through Kuoni and Exodus.
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