MIAMI, United States. – Iberostar, the Spanish hotel chain, inaugurated this past Wednesday its Madrid-Havana itinerary, flying twice a week on World2Fly Airlines. The airways operation will precede the opening of 16 of the 17 hotels that Iberostar will operate in Cuba starting next November 15, according to reports by EFE News Agency.
Initially, World2Fly will fly to Havana every Wednesday and Sunday. However, upon his arrival in Havana on September 22, the president of Iberostar Group, Miguel Fluxá, stated that the company’s plan was to operate a daily flight for this itinerary “when the circumstances allow it.”
In addition to reopening of 16 of the hotels it operates in Cuba, Iberostar announced the inauguration of a new facility -Coral Level Esmeralda- in Cayo Cruz, located in the Jardines del Rey archipelago.
Fluxá confirmed that reactivation of its Cuba hotels is “a logical move” because the island “will open itself to the world and things will be like before” once its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 has been completed.
“We are betting on this because we want Cuba to work, we want its economy to improve, and it is our opinion that tourism is what will bring improvements to this country’s economy,” stated Fluxá, according to EFE.
Iberostar has been investing in Cuban hotels since 1993, in Havana, Cayo Largo del Sur, Varadero, Trinidad, and the Northern Keys in Villa Clara and Ciego de Ávila provinces. Jointly with the Spanish hotel chains Meliá and Barceló, it operates 70% of the hotel-room availability in the island.
Although Cuba is facing the worse outburst of Covid-19 contagion, the island’s regime plans to open its borders to international tourism starting on November 15. “Keeping in mind the progress made in the vaccination process in Cuba, its demonstrated effectiveness and the perspective that more than 90% of the population will have completed their scheduled full-vaccination by November, conditions are being readied to open the country’s borders gradually starting on November 15, 2021,” according to a recent communication from the Ministry of Tourism.
Until September 2, Cuba gad fully-vaccinated only 36.2% of the population with the vaccines developed in the island, according to a recent communication from Dr. Francisco Durán García, national director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP, by its Spanish acronym). Likewise, the regime hopes to have fully vaccinated 92.6% of the population by November, in spite of the fact that the initial goal to fully vaccinate 70% of Cuban nationals by August was not met.
Before the pandemic, tourism represented the second official hard-currency income source, second only to the export of medical professionals’ services, an activity that foreign governments and international organisms have labeled as “modern slavery”.
(With EFE information)
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