Havana, Varadero travel advisories lifted

Havana, Varadero travel advisories lifted

TORONTO — The Cuba Tourist Board of Canada says the Canadian government has lifted its travel advisories for Havana and Varadero in the wake of “a swift and effective response” to Hurricane Irma.

The federal government had issued regional advisories for both cities, citing initial uncertainty over the impact of Irma.

“The retraction of the travel advisories for Havana and Varadero is really a reflection of how Cubans have banded together to get life back on track,” said Eloy Govea, Director for Canada for the Cuba Tourist Board.

“We are pleased that the Canadian government is confident in the safety of our destinations and look forward to showcasing Canadian travellers the spirit of Cuba once again.”

Canadian travel and tour operators have resumed flights and activities in Havana, Varadero and Holguin. With the vast majority of hotels and resorts in these cities now up and running, only the destinations of Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria remain under regional advisory. There is currently no nationwide advisory in effect for Cuba, said Govea.

Maria did not make true landfall on Cuba, he adds, with only the easternmost regions of the country experiencing elevated winds and rougher waters. Stabilization efforts remain on schedule in regions previously impacted by Irma.

Canadians looking to support Cuba’s post-Irma transition are encouraged to do so by visiting the country, notes Govea. Cuba’s tourism industry generates a large portion of its national GDP, making it an integral part of the Cuban economy.

“The continued flow of Canadian guests to Cuba is instrumental not only to economic recovery, but to the spirit of the Cubans that want to confirm that Canadian love for the island has not changed after Irma,” said Govea. “Cuba is the same beautiful, welcoming destination it has always been, and we invite Canadians with open arms to see that for themselves.”