06 NOV 2018: A recent trade event aptly dubbed “Autentica Cuba” hosted by The Ministry of Tourism of Cuba saw a coterie of the Caribbean country's most important travel execs from Cubanacan to Mintur and even a rep from Cuba's Medical Services who later in the evening added free dental service to the grand prize giveaway- an all-inclusive trip for two to Varadero's newest Melia Internacional with scuba diving included.  

Lots of agents, suppliers were on hand including Sunwing, Transat, Air Canada Vacations, WestJet - it was like the whole sun brigade was there in full force. To boot, there was even a Cuban band (five performers) so you can imagine the acoustics.

Held at the Toronto Board of Trade amid white linen table cloth tables, wines, mojitos and fine dining curated by the Oliver and Bonacini folks, Eloy Govea, director of Canada, Cuba Tourism Board, thanked invited guests for their support in selling Cuba.

Then he announced this special evening was Cuba's way to kick-start the upcoming 2018/2019 winter season which will have new promotional programs across Canada.

“This year we foresee welcoming more than 4.7 million visitors, a new record for Cuba, and we are pleased that Canadians remain our main source market. We reaffirm our commitment to continue this longstanding partnership,” he said.

Guests watched a slide presentation announcing the latest updates.

The Cuba 2018-2019 Winter Season Sell-Sheet:

• “Cubanísimo By Havanatur" in Varadero at the Roc Arenas Doradas hotel opens. The first Cuban themed club offers craft workshops featuring local traditions, popular dance classes as well as baseball and domino games and more.

• The opening of the Meliá Hotel Internacional in Varadero is geared to the family and adults only market.

• Just ahead of celebrating next year's 500th anniversary Havana has welcomed the opening of the Iberostar Grand Packard Hotel which is the latest addition to the new luxury hotel portfolio.

• Members in the travel trade are invited to FITCuba 2019 held in Havana on May 6-11th, 2019. The 39th international travel trade show is considered the most important in the Cuban tourism Industry. “FitCuba will be a perfect occasion for networking and professional exchange, but also a great chance to enjoy the city and the numerous festivities celebrating the revitalization of the Cuban capital,” adds Eloy.

• Santiago de Cuba, the second most important city in Cuba, invites clients to experience the opening of two new Cubanacán Hotels: "Segundo Frente" Hotel which combines nature and urban flair, and "Los Peregrinos" Hotel located near the Sanctuary of the Virgin of “El Cobre.”

Govea reiterated that while Cuba is best known as a sun and sand destination, agents should consider Cuba as a diverse year-round destination with a wide range of products and options for all ages.

Cuba offers more than 960 km of beautiful beaches, some of them among the best in the world, such as Varadero, Playa Paraíso in Cayo Largo and Playa Pilar in Cayo Guillermo where you can enjoy safe and natural environments.



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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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