Punta Cana: family reunification trips stimulate Cuban purchases
Punta Cana.- The new Air Century flights connecting Cuban families are having a positive impact on the Dominican market. The act of shopping continues to be a lucrative endeavor for Cubans traveling abroad, whether for shopping tourism or the well-known “mule business” where individuals import goods unavailable or too expensive in Cuba and resell them on the island at higher prices.
Cubans recognize that the Dominican Republic, particularly Punta Cana, offers excellent facilities for family tourism. Some travelers take advantage of vacation packages to make purchases and bring them back to Cuba.
It’s worth noting that Dominican merchants have even appealed to their government to ease visa restrictions for Cubans, facilitating their ability to make purchases. However, progress on this front has been limited. Nonetheless, numerous flights to the Dominican Republic are available, operated by airlines like Air Century and Sky Hight, departing from various Cuban cities such as Havana, Camagüey, or Santiago de Cuba, as reported in the Cuban press.
Despite economic challenges, people are finding ways to fund their trips and improve their financial circumstances.
Another appealing destination for Cubans is Isla Margarita in Venezuela, where “Cuban mules” spend approximately $5,000 per trip on purchases. They later recoup these expenses in Cuba by selling their merchandise at considerably higher prices.
Nicaragua is also a popular choice for Cuban shoppers. The country attracts many Cuban travelers who buy products to resell in their businesses back home. The absence of visa requirements for entry and direct flights from Cuba makes Nicaragua a convenient destination for this purpose.