Cuba Readies to Welcome Overseas Tourists

The reopening of tourism as of November 15 will be an encouraging step towards the recovery of the economy in Cuba

summer-season-in-sancti-spiritus, central cuba
Ancón Beach is among the most visited resorts in Trinidad, in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spíritus. (Photo: Juan Carlos Naranjo).

Together with the fact of having more than 90 % of the Cuban population vaccinated in November, the reopening of international tourism as from the 15th of that month will be another encouraging step towards a new normality, the urgent revival of an economy greatly affected by the epidemic and the tightened U.S. blockade.

As Juan Carlos Garcia Granda, head of the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR), said in the Informative TV program Mesa Redonda, the work to be done in the next 60 days will be very hard, since it is necessary to prepare airports, ports and marinas, attract labor force including the preparation of the non-state sector with its rental houses, negotiate with airlines and tour operators and coordinate several mechanisms, especially the hygienic-sanitary security.

Cuba’s preparation to welcome international travelers requires the support of all sectors of the economy, since we must reestablish the activity with high standards of quality and satisfaction, and workers in the sector must assume the responsibility of complying with the established sanitary protocols, he added.

Without forgetting that in these months of confronting the pandemic the tourism sector was seriously affected and according to the World Tourism Organization during the first five months of 2021 the world destinations registered 460 million fewer visitors, in Cuba the main driving force of its economy plays a revitalizing role for the rest of the country’s spheres.

This gradual reopening of the strategic sector will have a reinforcement of biosecurity protocols, both at airports and in hotel and extra-hotel facilities.

Maria del Pilar Macias, general director of operations and quality of the MINTUR, expressed that the hygienic-sanitary protocols upon the arrival of travelers will be focused on the surveillance of symptomatic patients and the taking of temperature, as well as diagnostic tests will be carried out randomly, and they will be required to present the vaccination certificate or the negative results of any PCR performed 72 hours before their trip to Cuba.

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