Cuban travel business doubles in size over last year

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MONTREAL – LGC Capital Ltd. announced that its Cuba centric bespoke travel and concierge business, InCloud 9, has almost doubled in size over last year with turnover increasing to an unaudited C$1.36 million for the year ended September 30, 2016, a significant increase from the unaudited C$0.72 million for the previous 2015 fiscal year for the Travelwelcome/IC9 Group.

Cuba is experiencing record tourism numbers and iC9 is now seeing not only its core customer base growing for bespoke tours to Cuba, it is seeing a dramatic increase in new business for group tours, conferences and private jet and yacht ground handling.

Tanja Buwalda, a highly experienced travel executive with many years of managing Cuban based travel companies has been employed as in-country Development Director to assist with handling the increased business coming in to iC9. iC9 has recently moved in to larger offices in the Havana Business Centre and is actively recruiting new staff to handle the influx of new business. When asked about tourism in Cuba, Tanja said: ” Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean, and has been a very popular destination, with tourism in 2016 estimated at approximately 4.5 million tourists, of which approximately 1.5 million were from Canada. This number is expected to grow as more international flights are planning travel routes to Havana and other cities of Cuba. There are significant historic sites and cultural events in addition to its great beaches.”

InCloud 9, in which LGC owns 40%, specializes in creating bespoke itineraries for unique vacations in Cuba, as well as providing all backup, support and fixing services for film and video production, and are provide Destination Management Solutions for tour operators looking to enable business in Cuba.

Through its representative office in Havana, iC9 provides the services of a specialist Cuban ground handler who works with other specialist travel companies around the world to assist with tailor-made trips to Cuba for their clients. This includes booking local hotels, transport, local tours and guides as well as other specialist activities such as art tours, deep sea fishing,  and scuba diving. In addition, iC9 is becoming more active in assisting with the organization of special events such as conferences and group activities around many of the big annual Cuban festivals such as the Cigar Festivals and Film Festivals.

David Lenigas, LGC’s Co-Chairman & CEO, commented; “We see tourism as one of the key focus areas for the company going forward, not only for solid cash flow, but also for long term sustainable growth and a business that is contributing to the growth of Cuba. To double the size of the business over the past year has been exceptional and we are now looking forward to accelerating this growth over 2017. Particularly pleasing is all of the new business we are now seeing with the new private jet and yacht sectors and the growth we are seeing in bespoke conferences that iC9 is now being contracted to arrange.”

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