HOLLYWOOD, Fla.—RCI, a vacation exchange company, has opened doors to a new frontier for timeshare owners. The company is offering travel options to Cuba through a new alliance with Cuba Travel Services, an established travel tour company. This relationship is a first in the timeshare exchange industry.
RCI Platinum members in the U.S. will now have access to unique “people-to-people” educational tour packages designed and operated by Cuba Travel Services. With an initial pilot of the tours providing two customized itineraries, RCI Platinum members and their guests can book five-night and seven-night rental packages with departure dates starting this summer. The packages include charter flights from Miami to Havana, accommodations in Havana and Varadero, educational people-to-people activities, select meals and assistance with travel documents and license requirements.
The itineraries bring travelers to important historical and cultural sites, providing great opportunities to interact with the Cuban people, including visits to Revolution Square, the studio of famous artist José Rodríguez Fuster, Ernest Hemingway’s museum at Finca Vigia, local farms and sugar cane fields, the marina at Cayo Blanco and more. Travelers will enjoy further insight into Cuban culture through a taste of Cuban cuisine and interactions with dance instructors, musicians, and local guides.
“We are so excited to be entering a new destination with our foray into Cuba,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI. “With recent changes to travel regulations, there is an amazing opportunity for Americans to visit Cuba and experience a new culture.
“We know people are looking for ways to visit, with new data from MMGY Global reporting that 19 percent of all U.S. adults said they would consider taking a vacation to Cuba within the next two years,” Gurnik continued. “With that type of enthusiasm, we wanted to give RCI Platinum members a way to experience this new destination with this initial tour program.”
Cuba Travel Services is a travel service provider headquartered in Cypress, Calif. “People-to-people” travel is one of the educational activities that are approved forms of travel for Americans visiting Cuba. Cuba Travel Services has significant experience in managing and operating tours, as they have been sending travelers on memorable trips for more than 16 years.
“We were so happy to join RCI in offering specially designed Cuba itineraries to RCI Platinum members,” said Michael Zuccato, general manager of Cuba Travel Services. “For years, our team has been creating amazing travel experiences in Cuba, and we are so excited to begin offering these options to vacation exchange members. The Cuban culture and the beauty of the country make for truly memorable trips, and we are confident RCI’s members will love traveling there as much as we do.”
With the pilot program offering dates for travel beginning this summer, RCI Platinum members in the U.S. will be contacted about travel opportunities. As the program gains popularity and demonstrates successful travel experiences for RCI Platinum members, additional travel dates may be added to expand the opportunity to a larger RCI member base.