The Bahamas-flagged vessel titled “Amadea” reportedly docked at the island of Margarita with nearly 500 passengers — primarily from Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany — on board.
Venezuela has been off the radar of cruise vessels for years now, mentioned Ali Padron, the Tourism Minister, as he reportedly welcomed the historical docking.
Exchange controls, product scarcity, and untrustworthy essential services like water and electricity have long kept foreigners at bay, compelling travel agencies to shut their doors.
Venezuela reportedly became an insecure and high-risk zone, Reinaldo Pulido, the VP of the Conseturismo tourism council, informed AFP.
But following years of hyperinflation and a currency in free fall that reportedly plunged Venezuelans into widespread misery and also drove millions of individuals to flee the nation, the ravaged economy — and tourism sector — has started showing timid signs of recovery recently.
The economy’s de facto dollarization and the subsequent easing of price controls have boosted imports. This has resulted in various items on offer and many new shops opening.
Since 2022, the nation has been receiving tourists from Russia who have been unwelcome in other countries since the war raged in Ukraine.
There aren’t any tourism figures officially that can help measure such a trend.
Per Leudo Gonzalez, Conseturismo president, Amadea opens up the possibility of coming back to the radar of the main cruise lines.
For Pulido, any initiative that fetches new and international tourists is always a gain.
References: Hindustan Times, France24, Barrons