SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, Mexico. – Deanna Lang, a Canadian tourist, sued the Canadian agency Sunwing for selling her a vacation package to Cuba. The experience horrified her.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press agency, Land sued the company, headquartered in Toronto, before the Manitoba small claims court, in order to recover the $8,000 she paid for the trip to Memories Varadero Beach Resort.
At the hotel, with its “all-included” package, instead of relaxing and enjoying a pleasant vacation with her mother and five children, she found cockroaches, filth in the common areas and the theft of her children’s belongings right in their guest room.
The woman said to the press that these experiences ruined her one-week stay in the Sunwing Vacations tourist complex.
“As soon as we for there, I was horrified,” said the 34-year-old mother of five. “The complex was totally deteriorated. Cockroaches were running everywhere: on the walls, in the corners of the room, under the bed.”
She stated that the complex, under Memories Resort and Spa, a Sunwing subsidiary was not what it was promoted to be, and lacked sufficient food, water, toilet paper and
cutlery for guests.
In her testimony, she told how her complaints to the staff at the complex remained unheeded. She could not find a Sunwing representative in situ, in spite of many visits to the office. Also, she stated that Sunwing personnel in Canada didn’t answer her requests for help half way through the vacation.
Deanna Lang said that she waited over four months for Sunwing to answer her reimbursement claim. She decided to make a more modest claim when the company offered her a $100 voucher on August 29th.
Sunwing told her they had no proof that she had requested help during the trip.
The company, which received notification on October 27th, has yet to present any document on its defense. The hearing is set for January 29th.
Lang stated that Sunwing planned to blame her, the travel agency with which she made the reservation, and the situation in Cuba.
A Sunwing e-mail that was shared with the press stated that Cuba is “a third-world country” where resources are limited and the tourism complexes struggle to repair damages and maintain the facilities in acceptable condition.
Lang answered that this information was not included in the agency’s promotional literature. She also admitted she should have investigated more about the complex before making a reservation.
Testimonies like this one, from international travelers to Cuba, express criticism about the condition of tourism services in the island, and the rise in unsafe conditions.
Recently, the Canadian government issued a warning to its citizens who plan to travel to Cuba, and asked that they “increase their precautions” due to the rise in crime and the shortage of food and medicine, among many other reasons.
In a lengthy communique, Canada warned that “Cuba is facing a chronic and serious shortage of basic items, like: food, bottled water, medications, fuel and hard currency.”
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