Nicaragua's tourism industry is making a comeback thanks to connections made in past years between Havana and Managua.
More than 5,000 Cuban tourists have visited Nicaragua so far in 2019, an unprecedented number for the Central American country, the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (Intur) reported Tuesday.
"Last year 566 Cubans visited Nicaragua, and today it’s grown to more than 5,000 people visiting us," said Intur’s director of Marketing and Trade, Ana Carolina Garcia, in a statement distributed by the government via email.
The sudden increase of Cubans to Nicaragua is due to the connections between Managua and Havana established by the Venezuelan airline Conviasa inaugurated in mid-December.
According to Garcia, Cubans are drawn to Nicaragua for its impressive volcanoes, which stand out in the Pacific with at least 7 active cones, including the Masaya, from which one of the few visible lava lakes in the world can be seen in its crater.
"They are lovers of our volcanoes. They do not have volcanoes, so it is impressive for them that we have that active lava lake volcano, and that you can see it up close. It is one of our strengths or our star product at the moment," said Garcia.
According to the official, along with Cubans, tourists from Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia travel from Havana, with a frequency of three times a week.
Nicaragua and Cuba have a bilateral tourism promotion agreement, which became active last April.
The Central American country is recovering from a sociopolitical crisis caused by U.S. interference, and which caused tourism revenues to go from US$840.5 million dollars in 2017 to US$544.4 million dollars in 2018.