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Air China will start direct Beijing-Havana flights on May 17 (+Photos)

Beijing, Apr 12 (Prensa Latina) Air China's direct Beijing-Havana flights, with a stopover in Madrid, will start on May 17, as a unique opportunity to increase outbound tourism to Cuba, official sources said.

In statements to Prensa Latina, the Cuban Minister of Tourism for Asia, Elizabeth Cristina Vela, praised the work of travel agencies in promoting Cuba as a tourist destination in China.

At a meeting with tour operators, we also planned mutual cooperation, taking into account the upcoming implementation of the digital tourist visa system, she explained.

Previously, Cuban Ambassador in Beijing Alberto Blanco commented on his personal account on X that he had a “fruitful meeting” with the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Song Zhiyong.

According to Vela, Cuba focuses on promoting its security features and connection with nature, aspects that will be of great interest to Chinese travelers, who show a preference for safe destinations with easy access in terms of visa, she noted.

“Before Chinese international tourism fully recovers, the highest demand will come from travelers with high purchasing power. This kinds of clients will require better service and, above all, quality,” she stated.

The president of the Cuban Aviation Corporation S.A., Joel Beltrán Archer Santos, provided some details about these direct flights after a meeting last week with Chinese executives who participated in the International Transportation and Logistics Fair in Cuba.

Resuming the Beijing-Havana flights with Air China is one of the main objectives of both nations after the gradual recovery of the sector internationally.

During a recent visit to China, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero explained to Chinese tour operators and tourism workers the attractions that make Cuba a favorite destination.

During a forum at the Cuban Embassy in Beijing, he emphasized that despite the difficult economic situation resulting from the US blockade and Covid-19, Cuba is a happy country that continues on its path to development.

Marrero urged them to break the number of visits by Chinese tourists to Cuba in one year, a figure that stands at around 50,000 travelers in 2018.