Cuba’s Tourism Minister Thanks Canada
With the fall travel season almost upon us, Cuba’s top tourism officials came north to their most important travel partner on Friday to show a little love.
Speaking at a well-attended lunch in Toronto, Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said Canada remains the top source of visitors for Cuban hotels and resorts and that they’re making big improvements that will further cement the relationship between the two countries.
“Canada continues to be our main market for tourism, and so the Ministry and our industry partners are honored to share exciting developments with our Canadian friends,” Marrero told a crowd of journalists and travel lovers at Sassafraz Restaurant in Toronto’s tony Yorkville district.
“In reaffirming our commitment to safety, hospitality, and luxury, we look forward to continuing to serve Canadians as their preferred vacation destination.”
Tourism officials say they expect a remarkable 224 new properties will have been completed in Cuba by 2030. Earlier this year, Marrero announced the rollout of nationwide Wi-Fi is expected to be in place by the end of next year, a key move in attracting Canadians and other visitors who need to be connected to work and friends back home.
Marrero said his country has been steadily improving its product, with new hotel and resort openings around the island, including the sleek Iberostar Grand Hotel Packard in Havana, the Paseo del Prado, the Segundo Frente and Hotel Floreale. More than 5,000 added rooms will be built in Cuba between now and the end of 2019, he said.
“Our rich culture, history, tradition, heritage and the security that we offer, differentiate our destination from the rest of the destinations of the region,” Marrero said.
Marrero said the Havana airport is being modernized and that measures have been taken to reduce the time visitors spend inside the airport upon their arrival; thus, increasing their time at the pool or the beach.
So far this year, Cuba has welcomed more than 3.5 million foreign visitors. With several months still to go, that represents 97.4 percent of the visitors the island nation welcomed in all of 2017. Canadian visits are down slightly, but overall visits show a 19 percent increase from 2016, Marrero said.
While he’s in Canada, Marrero will be meeting with representatives of the Canadian tourism industry to apprise them of these current and future developments.
Source: Travel Pulse Canada