Will Castro's Praise Lure Israelis to Cuba?

Only 5,000 went to Cuba this year, marketing head of top travel agency says recent favorable comments about Israel by Cuba's former president, Fidel Castro, may change all that.

Irit Rosenblum
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Irit Rosenblum

Despite Israelis' reputation as adventurous travelers, only 5,000 went to Cuba so far this year. The marketing head of the Issta Lines travel agency says recent favorable comments about Israel by Cuba's former president, Fidel Castro, may change all that.

The travel firm's vice president for marketing, Ronen Carasso, said most of the Israeli tourists to the Caribbean nation are either on organized tours or are backpackers there for an extended stay.

Fidel CastroCredit: AP

Carasso said there is huge potential for tourism from Israel to Cuba. The United States maintains an embargo against the Communist nation and most Israelis who fly to Havana do so via Spain, on Iberia Airlines. Cuban hotel prices are relatively low.

Four-star Havana hotels cost around $90 a night. Carasso said he expects the number of Israeli tourists to Cuba to double next year.

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