Cuba-Yucatan tourism links on the agenda at summit in Merida

Photo: Havana's famous malecon, an international tourist attraction.

The bilateral meeting between Mexico and Cuba this week in Merida opens up the possibility that both countries work on creating a long-sought multi-destination tourist link between Havana and Yucatan.

This project, recalled Yucatan’s Secretary of Tourism Promotion, Saul Ancona Salazar, was born in 1999 and during various stages has been revived, but it has not been achieved.

But Yucatan has taken an important step with the support of the Italian airline Blue Panorama, because from next December 21 it will expand its flights on Milan-Merida and Rome-Merida routes to include Havana.

In addition, continued the Secretary, there may be increased flights from Havana to Merida and reactivation of Chichen Itza airport, where the center of Mayan culture is.

“Yucatan and Cuba will be there to help each other, to complement the theme of tourism,” he said. “Cuba with its entertainment and world-famous Caribbean life, and Yucatan with Mayan roots and Mexico nearby, the Mexican culture for tourists going to Cuba. You can promote culture in Havana and that would be an extraordinary complement. So this is how we will weave the multi-destination.”

Ancona said other allies are the Chancellor Claudia Ruiz Massieu, who was head of the Tourism Ministry, and the current federal secretary of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid, because both know that efforts to create this multi-destination and have the knowledge to crystallize this long-sought tourism project that would benefit especially Yucatan.

Both Ruiz Massieu and de la Madrid will attend the Cuba-Mexico summit in Merida.

“The key is to bring and take tourists who are in Cuba on this stretch Havana-Merida. We have met with the Ambassador of Mexico in Cuba, with the Deputy Minister and Minister of Tourism of Cuba, with large Cuban enterprises. In addition, the Yucatecan businessmen are ready to take advantage of the opening of Cuba,” Ancona added.

He said that the bilateral meeting will weigh very heavily because Cuba is on the lips of the world through its commercial and industrial opening.

The head of the SEFOTUR said he is frequently asked what is the position of Yucatan on the opening of Cuba. He believes there have been fears that the island would be a great competition to Mexico and may even exceed it, but he can say that for the southeast and Yucatan this opening will bring benefits to both. He is sure that tourism will be on the bilateral agenda.

Photo: Havana's famous malecon, an international tourist attraction.
Havana’s famous malecon, an international tourist attraction.

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