Cuba brings strong delegation to U.S.-Cuba Travel Summit

More than 30 Cuban government and travel sector leaders are participating in the U.S. Cuba Travel Summit in Cancun through Friday. Led by Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz and the Ambassador Jorge Bolanos, Chief of the Cuban Interests Section on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., the delegation includes other government officials from the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Trade & Investment and the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

“The high level of the delegation underscores the importance with which our Cuban peers see this opportunity,” said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. “The tour operators and others here from the United States will be well prepared in this market as a result of meeting with so many key players from Cuba. It was a great idea to meet here in Cancun, where all of us had an easy trip to attend in such a delightful and gorgeous seaside resort.”

On the travel sector side, top leaders of the key travel companies in Cuba are in attendance to meet with U.S. delegates to discuss potential business should travel to Cuba be opened by current legislation under consideration in Congress (the Peterson-Moran bill – HR4645 and the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act – S428). These Cuban travel leaders include Jose Miguel Diaz, president of Cubanacan; Luis Miguel Diaz Escrich, president of Marinas Marlin; Norma Estrada, vice president of Gran Caribe; Abelardo Fernandez, president of Palmares; Rigoberto Julia, vice president of Gaviota; and Xiomara Martinez, president of Havanatur.  These companies operate hotels, ground transportation, receptive services and excursions within Cuba.

The purpose of the U.S.-Cuba Travel Summit is to prepare the prospective business partners to understand and plan for future tourism efforts, building on the booming market of relative and categorically permissible travel to Cuba now underway.

One of today’s highlights will be a video address by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), chief sponsor of the Senate Freedom to Travel to Cuba legislation.

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The summit is presented by Alamar Associations in conjunction with NTA and sponsored by United States Tour Operators Association.