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TORONTO — At last night’s Autentica Cuba event, new director of the Cuba Tourist Board in Toronto, Lessner Gomez, said Cuba is “ready for the 2019-2020 winter season”, and thanked the trade for all of its support.
“We’re more than confident that we’ll have a great winter season,” Gomez told more than 150 agents and supplier partners at Toula restaurant, high atop the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
“Thank you to all the tour operators and travel agents for helping bring Canadians to Cuba,” he added.
Gomez, who officially took up his new post at the Cuba Tourist Board earlier this month, reminded agents that by the end of 2019 Cuba will have some 4,000 new resort rooms, with more on the way for 2020. New and renovated hotels and resorts include the SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana; the Melia Internacional (formerly the historic Internacional), Gran Hotel Bristol by Kempinski, Cayo Guillermo Resort Kempinski, Paradisus Los Cayos and Grand Muthu.
And contrary to reports about fuel shortages impacting resort operations, Cuba’s resorts are open and ready to welcome Canadian vacationers for winter 2019-2020. On Oct. 8 Cuba’s Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero, drove that message home at another industry event.
Cuba’s newest destination, Cayo Cruz, “is going to be the new Varadero,” says Gomez. Cayo Cruz offers not just beautiful beaches, but also opportunities for fishing and diving, he added.
With over 25 years of experience in the travel industry, and with the goal of working together to help increase the number of Canadian visitors to Cuba, Lessner says he is looking forward to working closely with all Cuba’s travel partners and the continued strengthening of relationships with Canadian tour operators, travel advisors and hotel partners.
Armed with a tourism diploma from the Ciego de Avila University, Lessner began his career in Cayo Coco. For the last five years, Lessner has been the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Tourism office in the Ciego de Avila province. Before that, Lessner covered a variety of different positions at several hotels in Cayo Coco, including the entertainment team, quality control manager and sales manager.
Lessner has said that working for so many years in Cayo Coco, where Canadians account for the majority of the tourist business, has allowed him to familiarize himself with the needs of the Canadian market.
“Together we have to work to make winter 2019-2020 a successful season. I’m counting on you,” he told agents, adding that Cuba “continues to be one of the most safe countries in the world.”