Cuba, Canada to Boost Tourism Cooperation

Ottawa, Oct 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero met in Ottawa with his Canadian peer, Melanie Joly, with whom he discussed challenges, strategies and perspectives of the sector, a priority for both countries.

During the meeting, Marrero explained the importance of tourism for the Cuban economy and the efforts carried out by his country to ensure the sustainable growth of the so-called Leisure Industry, a statement from the Cuban embassy in Ottawa said on Wednesday.

Joly agreed on the existing potentialities to increase collaboration between related institutions of the two countries.

She also expressed her willingness to support the bilateral exchanges aimed at raising the training of staff linked to the sector, the text says.

This was a cordial and fruitful meeting, which allowed a broad exchange on these issues, the diplomatic mission said.

Marrero was later received at the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and International Development, by Deputy Minister for International Trade, Timothy Sargent, with whom he discussed the possibilities of deepening relations between both countries.

As part of his visit to this nation, the Cuban minister will carry out a working stopover in Montreal, where he will meet with executives from the Hospitality and Tourism Institute of the city, from Transat, one of the main tour operators working in Cuba, and Air Canada.

Canada is the main tourist market to Cuba, with more than one million visitors each year.

Cuba has 69,286 hotel rooms, 69 percent of which are in four-and five-star establishments. According to official estimates, about 5,000 new hotel rooms are scheduled for completion this year.

Cuba received about 4,689,894 foreign visitors, accounting for an 11.6-percent growth. Compared to the rest of the Caribbean region, such operations meant a 16.2-percent increase.

Cuba also has 400,000 rooms in hotels, not counting private accommodations, to which the authorities provide them support.

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