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TORONTO — The Cuba Tourism Board says Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria should be ready by or before Nov. 1, thanks to “strong cooperation” between the Cuban government, travel authorities and volunteers that’s expediting the process of repairing damaged properties and clearing debris post-Irma.
“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 have been operational since Sept. 13. 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 are ready to receive Canadian travellers again, says Govea.
At the same time restoration efforts continue in 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, says Govea.
“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,” said Govea. “Support from Canadians has been invaluable during this process, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Cuba very soon.”
He said the Cuba Tourism Board will provide ongoing updates on the status of Irma rebuilding efforts as information become available.
Meanwhile Sunwing has updated its list of Cuban resorts, for hotels that were advised as not ready at the time of Sunwing’s last update on Sept. 15.
In addition Sunwing notes that Hotel Tropicoco, Havana is now not expected to re-open in the immediate future.
Sunwing adds that in Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria and Camaguey, destination teams continue to conduct detailed evaluations on affected hotels. “Until more information is collected, it remains too early to give an accurate assessment as to the reopening date of any specific hotel. Further updates are expected as the week progresses.”
Sunwing customers scheduled to travel to any of these three destinations up to and including Oct. 31 may book an alternate date or destination, or obtain a full refund in cash.