Following a recovery effort in the wake of Hurricane Irma, it’s pretty much business as usual in Cuba thanks in part to strong co-operation between the Cuban government, travel authorities and volunteers who expedited the process of repairing damaged properties and clearing debris, ensuring that Cuba’s famous beaches are once again be enjoyed by visitors from Canada and abroad.
“Recovery from Irma is proceeding much faster than we had envisioned, in large part due to the continued support of our Canadian partners and the larger travel community,” said Eloy Govea, director for Canada for the Cuba Tourism Board. “We thank our friends both in Cuba and in Canada for the positivity and solidarity that motivated us through an otherwise trying time.”
Havana and Varadero became operational again on Sept. 13, 72 hours after rebuilding and clearing efforts commenced. All international airports in Cuba, with the exception of Cayo Coco, are now operating flights as normal. Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Cayo Largo del Sur emerged from Irma almost unscathed and are ready to receive Canadian travellers again.
Restoration efforts continue in both Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria. While the two islands are currently closed to tourists, the Cuba Tourism Board and their hotel partners on location are sharing supplies and information to quickly get all hotel properties open and operational. The Cuba Tourism Board is confident that travel to these destinations will be possible by or before Nov. 1.
“We see Irma not as a challenge, but as an opportunity, and we will work to ensure that Cuba remains the destination of choice for those seeking a break from the Canadian cold weather,” added Govea. “Support from Canadians has been invaluable during this process, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Cuba very soon.”