Global tour operator Friendly Planet Travel, headquartered in Jenkintown, has acquired New York-based insightCuba, a provider of legal travel to Cuba. The new association between the companies is designed to bring a unified voice to the certainty of legal travel to Cuba by Americans and increased demand for the destination.
According to Friendly Planet Travel Founder and President Peggy Goldman, the decision to acquire insightCuba comes from a shared philosophy about the indisputable role of travel to improve lives through economic development and true human connection; and the burgeoning demand for travel to Cuba, which has been estimated at 1 million U.S. travelers annually.
According to The Cuban Tourism Board, visitor arrivals reached a record 4.8 million in 2018. While this figure was below Cuba's goal of 5.1 million, it marked a 60% increase in visitors over a five-year period. Goldman says that this is indicative of the resilient demand for the destination.
"Since the elimination of cruising to Cuba, the destination has become the number one searched country on our website, an increase of 177 percent year-over-year. Interest in the destination has surpassed our expectations, and we are projecting travel to Cuba to be strong for the rest of 2019 and 2020," said Goldman.
Current insightCuba president and well-known Cuba expert Tom Popper will continue to lead the organization.