Cuban tourism, on the road to recovery
By Mercy Ramos Photos: Courtesy of Publicitur
On the occasion of celebrating World Tourism Day on September 27, the commercial director of that Ministry in Cuba, Michel Bernal, and the director of Communication, Dulce María Sánchez, in exclusive for our magazine talked on the current situation of the sector in the Island and its prospects, given the situation in the country and the world caused by the expansion of the coronavirus over the planet.
1.- In the current moment when Cuba is experiencing, like the rest of the world, the situation generated by the new coronavirus, how do you assess the development of tourism on the Island?
R / In Cuba, as in the rest of the world, tourism is greatly affected, considering that the pandemic has forced the closure of borders between nations to avoid further contagion of the disease.
Cuba, despite everything, has sought alternatives for international tourism. They opened the destinations Cayo Largo, Villa Clara Keys and Jardines del Rey, where visitors will be able to find an excellent Sun and Beach product, equipped with all the security protocols against Covid-19.
In these destinations, tourists can enjoy all the natural benefits, hotel infrastructure and nautical and natural excursions; in addition, Cuban Medical Services offer an exceptional opportunity for an unforgettable vacation on this Caribbean island, as you can prevent health problems and feel reborn in your spirituality between the unique beauty of nature and the hands of experts in health and well-being.
The wisdom and experience of our scientists and health professionals is made available to vacationers in order to improve the quality of life of people to face the current world epidemiological situation.
In a safe environment with all the guarantees for the enjoyment of your vacations, you can choose health and wellness programs to minimize and prevent diseases and health problems, strengthening your physical, mental and immunological state.
2.- At present, Cuba is considered among the safest countries in the world from all points of view, so people choose to vacation in this destination. Can you explain what this security is based on, both from the point of view of dangerousness in terms of assaults and the hygienic-sanitary situation?
R / Cuba is a safe country for any visitor from any point of view. This is demonstrated by the attention they receive, the kindness of the Cubans toward them, the interaction of tourists in the streets with the people, their free walking everywhere. That is synonymous of security.
The hygienic-sanitary situation of the country is guaranteed 100% for all visitors who arrive in Cuba and for our citizens on the Island. Cuba, despite the strong blockade imposed by the United States on our country, has not spared material and financial resources to guarantee the life of all Cubans and foreigners who arrive at our destination. Cuba will always work for a Tourism of Peace, Health and Safety.
3.- What actions or measures do sector authorities intend to adopt to achieve an increase in tourism in the post-Covid stage?
R / Our sector, together with the ministries of Public Health, Transportation and other institutions of the country, have taken all the measures established in the existing protocols to achieve a gradual increase in arrivals to this destination, to the extent that conditions, both national and international, allow it.
It should be noted that it is not only up to Cuba to achieve an increase in travelers to the Island. It also depends on the opening of borders in the issuing countries, on the available air capacity, on the position of the tour operators in the face of the existing demand.
Cuba is a destination that despite being blocked by the United States for more than 60 years and wanting to impede its tourism development, the country welcomed more than four million visitors in 2019, demonstrating the highly professional capacity of its staff, its hotel infrastructure and extra-hotel facilities of international level and development of planning and sustainable tourism.