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Point of View: “By Oct. 30 there will not be a trace of the hurricane in Varadero, Cuba”

Point of View: “By Oct. 30 there will not be a trace of the hurricane in Varadero, Cuba”

Varadero is operational and the beach is better than ever. Photo: TTC

Travelweek Group

Montreal.- Transat has announced it will resume its operations to Santa Clara (SNU) on Nov. 11 and to Cayo Coco on Nov. 15.

The tour operator says its teams at destination and its hotel partners are working together to reopen the hotels in these two regions. Transat adds that it wants to ensure that clients “have the best vacation possible and that all the touristic activities and attractions meet its quality standards.”

Transat has already resumed its normal airline operations to Varadero and Holguin. “The hotels in Havana, Cayo Largo, Camaguey, Varadero and Holguin are fully operational and the white-sand beaches are bigger and lovelier than ever!” says Transat.

Meanwhile more than 160 tour operator reps gathered at Varadero’s Plaza America convention centre last week to hear the latest update from Cuba’s Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz, who says Cuba will be ready for the high tourist season ‘without a trace’ of Hurricane Irma.

According to the CTO and Cuban newspaper and government mouthpiece Granma, Cruz said power, water and communications had been restored in 100% of the country’s tourist resorts, including the northern Santa María, Coco and Guillermo keys, and that tourism facilities in the territories of Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Cienfuegos, Mayabeque, Artemisa, and Pinar del Río, did not suffer any damage, and have been operating without any difficulties.

Cruz described the damage suffered by facilities in Sancti Spiritus, especially in the north, Las Tunas, the northern coast of the province of Holguin, and Camaguey as minor, and the damage in Havana and Varadero as minimal.

The minister also said that of the 18 hotels located on Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, the latter of which suffered less damage, 14 will be fully recovered by Nov. 1, while the local airport will also be fully operational. The remaining four hotel facilities will be completely restored to reopen their doors by Nov. 15.

He added that popular excursion sites in Cayo Coco will be restored and back in operation between Oct. 15 – 20, including its marina, dolphinarium, glass tower, and beach huts, and that hotels on Cayo Santa Maria are expected to be fully operational by Nov. 15.

Of the 52 hotels in the country’s main tourist destination of Varadero, all except five are open, and the minister said: “By Oct. 30, there will not be a trace of the hurricane in Varadero.”

He reported a 50% drop in arrivals in September due to the hurricane, but through Sept. 22 he said the country had received 3.6 million tourists, 24% higher than the same time frame last year.

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