13 OCT 2017: Cuban tourism minister, Manuel Marrero, arrived in Canada over the weekend to update travel authorities and tour operators on the hurricane recovery effort in Cuba. This is his first international trip since Irma made landfall, which indicates the importance of Canadian tourism to Cuba. 

Michel Bernal, the newly appointed commercial director from Mintur, joined Marrero. 

“Canadians and Cubans have long enjoyed a bond of friendship and cooperation, and our decision to come here first is a reflection of that relationship,” said Marrero. “With so many Canadians visiting us in Cuba every year, we felt strongly that Canadians should be the first to know how we’ve bounced back from Irma better than ever.”

The majority of tourist facilities were left undamaged by the initial impact of the storm.

Havana, Varadero, Santa Lucia and Holguin, have been restored totally after an organized and effective response, but the coastal destinations of Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Guillermo remain closed to tourists. The Minister announced that these destinations would reopen on November 1st.

Marrero will be meeting with representatives of major Canadian tour operators to apprise them of the timetable for restoration of the areas that are still recovering.

Hotels in the affected regions will reopen in two stages: the first half reopening on November 1st, the latter on November 15th.

“It is important to note that we aren’t simply restoring these resorts: we’re making them even better,” said Minister Marrero.

“We’ll make sure that these properties are more than prepared in the event of another hurricane, and proactively upgrade the properties that were unaffected by the storm. Visitors to Cuba can expect the very best in service and safety.”


The Cuba Tourism Board remains committing to having 100 per cent of tourist destination and facilities up and running by the beginning of the winter travel season.

The Tourism Board will continue to update Canadians—who constitute roughly 40 percent of visitors to Cuba each year—as new information becomes available.

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