With Its Alternative ‘Therapies,’ Cuba Wants To Become a Paradise for Sick Tourists

Customers will be able to buy packages of 14 and 21 days to be treated on the Island, beginning in January. (Invasor)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Izquierdo, Havana, January 4, 2024 — Ready to take out the artillery in the face of the tourism crisis in Cuba, the ministries of Public Health and Tourism returned this Thursday to their strategy to make the Island a paradise for the sick traveler. The Cayería Norte of the province of Ciego de Ávila will be converted into an enclave of “oriental and western therapies, along with therapies with dolphins,” where “ancestral energies” will have as much weight as “the use of Cuban medicines.”

The Medical Services Marketer (CSMC) explained to the official press that the “traditional” Cuban sun and beach tourism is already medicinal in itself, but that they plan a whole package to contribute “to the well-being and improvement of the quality of life” of those who relapse, afflicted by any ailment or a desire for relaxation on the beaches of Seville.

Agnerys Cruz, director of the state company in Ciego de Ávila, pointed out to Invasor that the services will include all kinds of innovative “therapies”

 Agnerys Cruz, director of the state company in Ciego de Ávila, told Invasor that the services will include all kinds of innovative “therapies,” as well as “the consumption of healthy food and drinks” and direct interaction with the dolphins of Cayo Guillermo, which offer proven benefits to the mental health of patients.

“To this is added the possibility of attention to different disorders, from the autism spectrum, in all its varieties, to others that hinder socialization,” Cruz added, without going into details.

The limits of the program are only imposed, judging from the announcement, by the imagination. “The possibility of visiting cities and rural areas is added, including agricultural farms and local development projects, where they can enjoy ecological walks, farmers’ lunches, traditional Cuban drinks, tropical fruits and fresh vegetables. These proposals reinforce the initiative to travel to Cuba to receive well-being and quality of life services,” the director said.

On a more practical note, Cruz offered customers packages of 14 and 21 days, beginning in January, although she did not delve into the costs. “The experience will be wonderful for both tourists and therapists,” she said.

Both the state facilities and the hotels of Jardínes del Rey will be involved in the new program, which already includes the Canadian Blue Diamond Resorts as one of its partners. “These offers are added to the existing ones at the Starfish Cayo Guillermo hotel, but the purpose is to extend them to other facilities,” the director explained.

However, the CSMC plans an ambitious expansion in its services and is already targeting other audiences. “The Grand Muthu Rainbow hotel, destined for the LGBTIQ+ segment, develops specific therapies that meet the demands of that market and make the stay more pleasant,” Cruz celebrated.

Also inaugurated, in the capital city of the province, was a medical office at the Rueda hotel, “with the aim of ensuring healthcare for those who engage in city tourism in hotel facilities, rental houses or are passing through the province,” she added.

The staff will promote the use of Cuban drugs such as vaccines against covid-19 and Heberprot-P

The office will promote the use of Cuban drugs such as vaccines against covid-19 and Heberprot-P, the latter described as a “stimulant and accelerator of the healing of diabetic foot ulcers” that reduces the risk of amputation.

“In the same way, the medical office staff will promote services aimed at guaranteeing the well-being and quality of life of tourists, such as massages and cosmetic dermatology,” Cruz said.

The initiative, Invasor alleges, is based on data from the World Tourism Organization, which assures that this year health tourism will be a “trend,” since it “increased the number of travelers eager to regain their energies, take a ’breather’ and feel comfortable with themselves.”

It is not the first time that the regime has tried to create a “favorable climate” to attract this type of traveler. After the coronavirus pandemic, the authorities offered foreigners a trip to the Island to recover or receive treatment. The controversy was not long in coming from the population, who feared an increase in the number of infections with the arrival of thousands of tourists.

To this is added, today, the health debacle that the country faces, unable to offer treatment or perform a surgery without the patient’s emigrated relatives sending everything from the simplest supplies, such as needles and thread, to the most expensive drugs. The situation has reached the point where the Government has had to extend again and again the tariff exemption for food, toiletries, medicines and even generators that travelers can bring to the Island for non-commercial purposes.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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