Amid the tourist boom that Cuba is experiencing, the island is emerging as a destination for the gay community, where the first online travel agency specializing in tours designed especially for the LGBTI collective is operating.
The pioneers in this business have been responsible for Mi Cayito Cuba, a web intermediary between the “gay friendly Cuban private initiative and customers in the world,” said the director Alain Castillo, a Cuban living in Madrid.
“The Island has great potential as a space for coexistence. We are open to all, we believe in a liberal and tolerant place where respect is valued,” says this young entrepreneur of 35 who wants to work “on visibility and improving the collective “(LGBTI) in his country.
Mi Cayito (on the east coast of Havana) is the name of what is probably the only gay beach of the island, so Castillo thought it would be a good idea to call his business that, and has been operating since August of 2014 with a virtual office in the Spanish capital and representatives in Havana.
“It’s vacation time. It’s time for Cuba. The new gay paradise,” we read in the brochures that the initiative is promoting through social networks this summer.
The most popular destination among users of the web Mi Cayito so far are Havana, Viñales and Varadero beach
The most popular destinations among users of Mi Cayito Cuba so far are Havana, Viñales, a green paradise located in the western province of Pinar del Río; and Varadero beach, said Castillo.
The website is only available in Spanish, though Castle says customers from Germany, USA, Russia, Spain and Latin America have used it, and they can choose between tours such as Gay Havana or personal guided tours that cost up to 120 euros.
More than two million foreign tourists arrived in Cuba so far this year, a figure reached 39 days earlier than in 2014 which demonstrates the appeal of the Caribbean destination, especially for visitors from Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Argentina.
“Changes in Cuba have been an incentive and increased demand,” said Alain Castillo, who announced they prepare for a possible mass influx of Americans, encouraged by the thaw in relations between Cuba and the US, which on July 20 resumed diplomatic ties after more than 50 years of enmity.