OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Canada is the biggest market for foreign tourists to Jardines del Rey. Photo: AP

The number of flights arriving each week at the Cayo Coco Jardines del Rey International Airport rose to a record high of 41, with the arrival of an aircraft from the Blue Panorama airline, which resumed direct flights between the Italian city of Milan and this tourist region of northern Ciego de Ávila.

This flight will be scheduled on a weekly basis and, on this occasion, had 78 passengers aboard, set to enjoy the benefits of the Hotel Gran Caribe Club Cayo Guillermo, formerly known as the Villa Cojímar, which opened 44 new rooms forming an Italian club run by the Eden Viaggi tour operator.

Néstor Rodríguez Moya, head of ground operations at the airport, announced that they expect an increase to 50 flights per week in March and the number of tourists arriving could reach 8,000, figures which would break all records since operations began at the airport in late 2002.

Moya also noted that the airport terminal has a capacity of 300 people in arrivals and the same number in departures, although at peak times these figures have been exceeded, with quality of service indicators, such as the decline in passenger waiting time to 17 minutes and the reduction of delays attributable to the airport.

The airlines that most frequently schedule flights to Jardines del Rey are Cubana de Aviación; Thomas Cook, from the UK; and Canadian airlines, Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing.

Meanwhile, Aeroatlantic, run by Portuguese tour operator Sonhando, brought 2,400 visitors to the tourist hotspot with its charter flights during the summer.

READY FOR HIGH SEASON

Iyolexis Correa, Ministry of Tourism representative in Ciego de Ávila, told AIN that the Jardines del Rey tourist resort has over 5,800 hotel rooms and for this high season is offering new nautical and outdoors recreational and leisure activities.

In addition, hotel facilities, public spaces and services have been improved in order to meet the needs of visitors and tour operators and raise standards, in line with current trends and international benchmarks for quality and sustainability.

The restoration of tourist trains, the renovation and expansion of other means of transport such as tour buses, motorbikes, bicycles and new horse-drawn carriages, are also among the additional initiatives to allow for enjoyment of the surrounding area.

In turn, Luis Báez, commercial specialist of the tourism sector in Ciego de Ávila, explained that the number of tourists traveling from Canada grew by 11% during the period, with over 14,500 visitors, thus establishing itself as the largest market, followed by national tourism and visitors from the UK and Argentina.