Jamaica gets a verbal ‘taste’ of Cuban tourism

Dignitaries, tourism industry officials and other interested parties were given a comprehensive ‘tour’ of what Cuba’s tourism has to offer during the recent launch of tourism products for the north Caribbean island and multi-destinations at AC Hotel Kingston in St Andrew.

The scores of people who turned up to hear about the pleasures that exist in Cuba and other destinations were exposed to detailed presentations by travel agency Caribbean and Latin Travel Consultant Ltd, and officials from Cuba’s government ministries and agencies, which presentations were met by consistent applause from an appreciative audience.

Chief organiser, general manager of Caribbean and Latin Travel Consultant Ltd Yeno Larrahondo outlined the many opportunities and offers available to travellers who want to have a satisfying time in Cuba and elsewhere.

From picturesque vacation destinations with competitive hotel rates, entertainment packages, city tours, eateries among other things, Larrahondo, a Colombian by birth, had members of the attentive audience raising eyebrows, oftentimes wide-eyed in amazement.

In his presentation, Cuba’s Ambassador to Jamaica Fermin G Quinones lauded the Caribbean Community (Caricom) for standing by Cuba over the years, as the trade embargo imposed by the United States against the socialist country continues to hit hard.

Regarding tourism in his country, Quinones said that the aspect of health tourism, in particular, was “emerging strongly, with a network of institutions designed, equipped, and staffed with highly trained personnel that provide, in addition to the spaces for relaxation, first class medical care to visitors.

“Of course, behind all this modern and updated infrastructure is the hospitality and boundless joy of our people — they are our true heritage and strength,” the ambassador continued. “The Caribbean Sea surrounds us and brings our peoples together; Cuba and Jamaica are part of this phenomenon. Our history, culture and natural beauties can be shared with visitors with just one trip; the promotion and development of the multi-destination tourism opens the doors to deepen the complementarity in this sector. Cuba opens its doors to an infinite number of possibilities, from its history, culture, recreation, leisure, health, contact with nature, to business opportunities.”

Among the presenters were Zoraida Lozana Gonzales, who represented Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism; Kenia Garayalde Fombellida, sales manager of Marcaribe International Tourism, which represents Iberostar’s 17 hotel properties in Cuba; Dr Misleydis Napoles Morales, president of the Scientific Council of the Cuban Medical Brigade, who spoke on medical services provided; Marilda Ortiz Matos, a teacher from the education brigade in Jamaica, who dealt with programmes in Cuba; and Arlem Fernandez Sigler, who represented biotech and pharmaceutical company, Biomed.

Fernandez Sigler highlighted progress made by Cuba in the development and sale of products to fight some of the main diseases affecting people, among them diabetes; Parkinson’s disease; cardiovascular, spinal, athletic injuries, among others.

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