Cuba welcomes first tourists in months


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Cuba welcomes first tourists in months

Havana still closed as officials try contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the capital city.

 

By Reuters -September 7, 2020

 

 

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba rolled out the red carpet on Friday for the first planeload of tourists to arrive on the Communist-run island in months as it struggles toward a post-pandemic new normalcy.

 

The import-dependent country has been plunged into crisis and scarcity by tough US sanctions and the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

The arrival was seen as a hopeful sign for tens of thousands of laid-off leisure industry employees, shuttered small businesses and hard-pressed residents in general.

 

An Air Canada plane arrived at midday at the Cayo-Coco airport on the northern coast. Air Canada Vacations, the airline’s tour business, said it would now fly weekly to Cuba and biweekly beginning next month.

 

Cuba closed its airports in March due to the pandemic. While some hotels are open under international sanitary regulations at resorts in isolated areas such as Cayo-Coco, there is no indication when Havana and other cities might allow foreign visitors to return.

 

Before, during and after a storm, count on Island Heritage.

Cuba has managed to control the pandemic in most of the country. But it is currently trying to contain a new outbreak in Havana, along with lesser outbreaks in a few other provinces.

 

The country has reported nearly 4,300 COVID-19 cases to date and 100 deaths.

 

Canada has long been Cuba’s most important tourist provider, accounting for 1.1 million of the 4.2 million arrivals in 2019, according to the government.

 

Industry revenues were US $2.6 billion last year.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fuzz said:

Havana is locked down, but this plane landed at Jardines del Ray airport on Cayo Coco.

image.png.0951400e9339e0626d80cbc4b2605627.png

Yep, and that is the plan for the foreseeable future - tourists only allowed under supervision on the Cayos/Keys.

Considering it is a weekly A-320 flight - with max 180 pax - not much damage or profit to be expected.

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2 hours ago, Ryan said:

I just got an email this morning that my Havana - Amsterdam flight on November 24th was cancelled "due to Covid". So, it's not looking good for travel to Havana for a while. 

Oh well, you'll just have to enjoy Amsterdam instead. :lookaround: :whistle:

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1 hour ago, Fuzz said:

Oh well, you'll just have to enjoy Amsterdam instead. :lookaround: :whistle:

The trip was originally out through Paris, back through Amsterdam.

Though as somebody told me this morning, my flight out has not been cancelled yet so do I actually have a problem? :)

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15 hours ago, El Presidente said:

As I understand, band on the wrist. Can't leave the resort. 

Not quite my type of Cuba vacation. :rolleyes:

If I'm not able to leave the resort there are plenty of other destinations I'd rather head to. 

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3 hours ago, JohnnyO said:

Does anyone know how they are paying for things? Speculative rumor has it that October 1st the CUC is going to be recalled and the population will have 6 months to turn it in. John

Glad I was able to dump my stash when a friend went earlier this year! Just had him spend them on cigars.

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10 hours ago, Habana Mike said:

Glad I was able to dump my stash when a friend went earlier this year! Just had him spend them on cigars.

Made the most of ours in SdC in November. Crazy part: everyone there wanted CUC. Very glad we took one of the last flights to visit the area.? 

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17 hours ago, JohnnyO said:

Does anyone know how they are paying for things? Speculative rumor has it that October 1st the CUC is going to be recalled and the population will have 6 months to turn it in. John

Seems you’re ahead of the news, as usual:  https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN26120F

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1 hour ago, Monocle said:

There was a pamphlet available at post offices that did not say anything official but implied that something was coming. They like to confuse the public with word mazes. In the pamphlet they used a term MLC (Moneda Libremente Convertible) in order to talk about the CUC, but never defined who was who. The past few days there has been panic buying of the CUP at 24:1 and the banks have had to go to TV and say that there is nothing official. Most probably they want the currency deposited into an account and then converted. Very likely they don't have the physical CUP to convert. Many of the articles imply that Cuba's desires are to go totally electronic in payment of goods/services. Finally, everything is gearing towards deposits being made outside of Cuba into accounts in order to take Western Union out the middle. Likely wont happen in the US but likely for Spain, Canada etc. John

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Another news tidbit was released by Western Union yesterday in that at some point they anticipate that their services will be in CUP only. That is to say if you send USD to someone in Cuba they will receive Cuban Pesos at 24:1 or whatever they deem is the current value at the time. Then the person would have to change CUP back to USD if they needed that. John 

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On 9/8/2020 at 2:23 AM, El Presidente said:

As I understand, band on the wrist. Can't leave the resort. 

Not quite my type of Cuba vacation. :rolleyes:

EXACTLY.  To hell with that.

 

On 9/8/2020 at 2:31 AM, Fuzz said:

Yeah, not the same as handcuffs and a bedpost....

Ummmmm, I thought you didn't see those pictures from Frank and I years back???

:lol:

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