CARACAS (Reuters) – Russian tourists holidaying on Venezuela’s tropical Margarita Island began returning home earlier this week, two tourism industry sources said, as Europe and North America closed their airspace to Russian flights over the war in Ukraine.
Of the about 1,000 Russian tourists who arrived in Venezuela during the last two weeks, some 400 left the South American country on a charter flight on Tuesday, one source said.
The route of the flight was unclear.
The remaining 600 are set to leave on two flights scheduled for March 5 and March 8, the two sources said.
The flow of Russian tourists to Venezuela has been increasing since late last year, part of a government strategy to buoy up an industry battered by Venezuela’s long-running economic crisis, danger from crime and cuts to public services like electricity and water.
The Venezuelan ministry of communications did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Mayela Armas; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)