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Cuba is ready, willing and eager to welcome your clients to its sun-splashed shores.
The country’s tourism trade has gone through punishing times because of Covid but tourism officials say Cuban tourism is now in recovery mode and is ready to accommodate all visitors as the busy winter tourism season looms.
“Cuba is open,” Nieves Ricardo of the Cuba Tourist Board’s Toronto office flatly stated during a a November Hola Sun fam trip to Holguin.
Hola Sun’s Veronica Duenas in turn said Cuba bookings are doing “really well,” with the tour operator’s program getting a boost from its association with newish carrier OWG.
Varadero bookings are particularly strong for Hola Sun these days but other areas of the country are selling well too, Duenas continued.
Dania Reyna Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the Gran Muthu Almirante Beach Resort — host hotel for most of the fam — said Cuban tourism hasn’t fully recovered from Covid in terms of visitor numbers but she added that tourists shouldn’t be nervous about visiting a country which has an extremely high vaccination rate and in which Covid cases have nearly disappeared.
“We are fully ready to welcome tourists and are eager to see them return,” she said during the fam.
Alexei Remedio of the Paradisus Rio de Oro in the province of Holguin says that resort is looking forward to a strong winter.
“Everybody wants to travel. Everybody wants to visit,” he said. “We will have a high season all winter.”
Remedio said Covid doesn’t seem to be weighing heavily among guests, adding that those guests may be reassured by Melia’s Stay Safe With Melia program, a response to Covid.
Jorge Calles Gonzalez of Havantur reported the city of Santiago de Cuba has again put out the welcome mat for visitors.
“Everything is open in Santiago de Cuba. There’s no doubt we are ready,” said Calles Gonzalez, who added that his city is Cuba’s most Caribbean city and tourists will find musicians playing in parks and streets, and may come across carnivals.
Meanwhile, fam participant John Coletta of Uniglobe Bon Voyage Travel in Toronto said the trip has left him with no doubts Cuba can provide visitors with a safe and enjoyable holiday.
“I would not have any qualms (about sending tourists to Cuba),” he stated.
Colletta stayed at the Gran Muthu Almirante Beach Resort, which he would “send people to without batting an eyelash.”
He labelled Cuba a “phenomenal” destination that offers Canadian vacationers great beaches, safety and friendly locals.
Coletta added he was particularly wowed by the Gran Muthu Almirante Beach Resort’s pirate-themed closing night celebration for fam participants.
Cuban happiness to see tourists return was underscored by a smiling Holguin-based Hola Sun employee Susana Cepena Gijon, who greeted the agents upon their arrival in Holguin.
“Look at my face,” the beaming Cepena Gijon told the agents.
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