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Swoop has begun linking Toronto and Varadero, with both the airline and the Cuba Tourist Board citing the carrier’s service as one that can accommodate tourists seeking distinctively different types of Cuban vacations.
The Calgary-based airline, which bills itself as an “ultra-low-cost” carrier, began Monday, Wednesday and Friday service from the Ontario capital to Cuba’s premier beach resort on Jan. 11, offering one-way introductory fares of $159.
Kelly Steward, senior leader marketing, digital and communications for Swoop, told a recent Toronto gathering that Swoop is delivering passengers to “sun and fun destinations,” with a company that began service in 2018 with two planes now having 16 and serving 26 destinations this winter.
Steward noted passengers travelling to Varadero with her WestJet-affiliated carrier can purchase WestJet Vacations packages.
Canadians who vacation in Cuba typically opt for all-inclusive resorts in popular tourist locales.
But Lessner Gomez, director of the Cuba Tourist Board’s Toronto office, in turn told the gathering that the new Swoop service is also suited for those who want to explore his homeland, adding there are “so many great spots in Cuba” to see on a holiday.
“I think the Swoop flights… are a unique opportunity for the Canadian market,” he continued.
Among destinations he cited was Havana, around two hours by vehicle from Varadero. Gomez also praised the “amazing” fares Swoop is offering. Swoop’s new route has drawn widespread attention in Cuba, he added.
Meanwhile, Lessner said Cuban tourism is continuing to rebound from Covid, with tourism authorities hoping to see a million Canadians this year.
“Cuba loves Canadians and Canadians love Cuba,” he said. “Always we have our door open for Canadians.”
Gomez also identified a number of positive developments in Cuban tourism, among them the continued upgrading of WiFi in hotels, new vehicles for tourists and the opening of luxury hotels in Havana.
Gomez also labelled Varadero “one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.”
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