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The "Route of Tobacco" will emerge as a new motivation to travel to Cuba
Route of Tobacco, Cuba holidays
Great new excursion in Pinar del Rio, Cuba
Pinar del Rio is designing a new tourist offer, the "Route of Tobacco", expected to become an important attraction in this province which may motivate more holidaymakers to travel to Cuba. The region is planning to position itself as an eco tourism zone.
Pinar del Rio is a popular destination for holidays in Cuba. It is home to several natural sites, among which we can highlight the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Sierra del Rosario, the World Heritage landscape at Vinales Valley, and the Guanacahabibes National Park. One of the most important economic resources of this region is the Tobacco plantations.
The "Route of Tobacco", a new tour designed for the tourists who visit the region, consists of visiting the Vueltabajo tobacco plantations, or "vegas", and exchanging with experienced farmers who have been harvesting this precious leave for years.
Otto Medero, representative for the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) in the province, has stated that this attractive new tour offer would be available in 2014, and would be promoted as an authentic product of the zone. At present, the MINTUR office is designing the project and determining the budget needed for infrastructure.
Other attractions in the route would include tours around different farms and accommodation in rural houses. One of the "vegas" located in the area is the famous Vegas Robaina, named after the legendary of tobacconist, Alejandro Robaina, creator of the Vegas Robaina tobacco brand.
The tourism office is also planning to create a "veguero" festival, celebrating the agriculture and artistic traditions of the region. Among the icon elements of the "veguero" culture are the "sombrero de yarey", a hat made of straw used by peasants for protecting themselves from the sun, and the "guateque", a party with Cuban traditional country music.
The development of this new route is part of the strategic actions to position Pinar del Rio Province as the major eco tourism area in the island, with an effort to make this tour a new motivation to travel to Cuba, specifically to the western zone. Other places to visit in this tourist area include the Maria la Gorda International Diving Centre; Cayo Levisa, an isle with an almost virginal beach and excellent scuba diving options; The orchid garden in Soroa, the biggest of its kind in Cuba; and of course, the Vinales Valley with the impressive scenery of the "mogotes".
Pinar del Rio is visited every year by tourists from European countries like UK, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Norway and Austria. The main tourist market share in Pinar del Rio is from visitors who travel to Cuba on circuit programmes across the country.
Others choose to stay in private houses for a longer stay. According to the representative of MINTUR in the province, 194,000 travellers visited the region in 2011, 63 per cent more than previous year and seven per cent of the visitors who took holidays in Cuba last year.