While Cuba is well-known and much-loved for its beaches, its beauty, its safety and its culture, it’s the island’s people – their friendliness, kindness and hospitality – that really make Cuba shine, says Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos Garcia Granda.

“It is the Cuban people who make Cuba unique,” he said yesterday, as the honoured guest at the Cuba Tourist Board’s industry lunch at Sassafraz restaurant in Toronto. “Cubans are the best assets of Cuban tourism.”


Cuba reopened to tourism on July 1, 2020, a tip of the hat to its top market, Canada. While Canadians have only recently been travelling to Cuba in any great numbers thanks to the lifting, at long last, of Canada’s travel restrictions, the outlook is still positive from this market.

Already Canada has regained its long-held number one position for Cuba feeder markets, after it was briefly overtaken by Russia.

“We will always be supporting you,” said Garcia Granda. “We want to remain loyal to all the countries that have remained with us and that includes Canada.”

The goal now is to have “an excellent summer,” he adds, noting that increases in capacity are already in the works. All 10 of Cuba’s main airports are open.

There are no restrictions for travellers heading to Cuba, and no mask mandates. “Only epidemiological controls and hygiene measures have been maintained,” said Garcia Granda.

Cuba’s goal for arrivals for 2022 is 2.5 million.

One of the goals of the UNICA Cuba campaign is to highlight Cuba’s ‘beyond the beach’ value proposition for visitors, from its many UNESCO sites, to its 14 national parks and more.

That said, Cuba is justifiably proud of its 2022 ranking by Trip Advisor for having one of the best beaches in the world: Santa Maria Beach. The island has more than 580 kilometres of coastline and 600+  beaches.

Cuba was also awarded Best Cultural Destination in the Caribbean at the 2021 World Travel Awards.

Lessner Gomez, Director, Canada for the Cuba Tourist Board, thanked Cuba’s partners at yesterday’s event. “We recognize your hard work, and how it’s increased the number of visitors to Cuba,” said Gomez.

“We are very optimistic for the summer months and for the coming winter. Let’s work together to promote Cuba – safe, diverse, UNICA.”

More information about Cuba can be found at gocuba.ca.

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