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Havana prepares its hotels to receive tourists after the passage of Irma

Hotels in the coastal area of ​​Havana that suffered "slight affectations" after the passing of Hurricane Irma, will be ready to receive tourists later this week, thanks to "fast" recovery and cleaning actions, officials of the Ministry of Tourism of Cuba (Mintur) said today.

Havana, September 13 (EFE) .- Hotels in the coastal area of ​​Havana that suffered "slight affectations" after the passage of Hurricane Irma, will be ready to receive tourists at the end of this week, thanks to "quick" recovery and clean-up actions, Cuban tourism ministry officials said today.

Among hotels that will resume operations normal way in a few days are the Arenal and Memories Jibacoa, located in the East Beaches;

After Irma, who hit Havana last Saturday, "immediately began work on rehabilitation" at the 18 evacuated facilities, where " the glass marquetry, false ceilings and others of rapid improvement, "said the Mintur delegate in Havana, Xonia Beltran.

Beltran added that some of these centers could begin

"We are working with the aim of having all the facilities ready in the shortest possible time", insisted the directive in statements to the state-run Cuban News Agency, while reiterating that "tourist life continues in the city", where several areas continue without electricity or

In addition, he said that in tourist facilities in which sea water penetrated "it will take a bit longer to start up."

Beltran insisted in which Havana is "available to assimilate neatly" to visitors, because the "rest of the hotel's capital in the capital is active" and during the hurricane "guaranteed protection "for tourists.

Hotels such as the emblematic Nacional, located on a cliff facing the Malecón habanero, and Habana Libre, also close to the coast but located in an area elevated, served as refuge for many foreign travelers whom the powerful Irma surprised in the middle of her vacation.

The delegate of the Mintur in Havana recalled that this Tuesday resumed flights at the airport and clarified that travel agencies review the itineraries of tourist circuits leaving this city to ensure other destinations

According to official figures, the arrival of travelers will be available for travelers who are still staying on the island.

to Havana, the main gateway to Cuba, grew at the end of last August by 23% compared to 2016.

Until last July, more than 1.6 million foreign visitors, some 435,000 more than in the previous year.

Tourism is one of the engines of the depressed Cuban economy and in 2016 the Caribbean island recorded a a record 4.5 million foreign tourists, which it wants to raise to 4.7 this year.

The powerful hurricane Irma left 10 dead in Cuba and caused damage to homes and Santamaría, Guillermo and Coco, north of the central provinces of Villa Clara and Ciego de Avila, where the cyclone touched down last Friday with category 5.

More than 5,000 tourists who spent the summer in the northern cayería, belonging to the archipelago Jardines del Rey, were evacuated to Varadero beach, about 140 kilometers Havana, which was also affected but to a lesser extent.

Despite the devastation, President Raul Castro said in a message to Cubans that tourist facilities will be recovered "before the start of peak season" in November.

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