Eight agents are flying to Cuba today to take supplies to give to locals hit by Hurricane Irma.
The delayed fam trip, hosted by Cuba Holidays, had been due to visit the destination soon after the hurricane struck last month.
The agents will spend four nights in Havana, which had neighbourhoods left without electricity, and three nights in Varadero, the resort to which many tourists were evacuated to avoid the eye of the storm.
The trip aims to show the trade how Cuba has bounced back from the category-five hurricane.
The agents have been given extra baggage allowance by Virgin Atlantic, co‑hosts of the fam, to take clothes and toiletries which have become hard for locals to get hold of.
The supplies, collected by Cuba Holidays staff and the agents, will be distributed by the Cuban government in the Cayos, a group of islands home to many hotels and beaches popular with tourists and among the worst-hit areas.
Alan Meadows, trade sales development manager at Cuba Holidays, said: “People were affected by these terrible events but all of them joined together to demonstrate the sense of solidarity this remarkable island has. Our team was out there throughout and all felt this trip would not only show the travel industry that the country is back on its feet but also provide us with a nice way of giving a little something back to the wonderful people of Cuba.”
The agents, from Hays Travel, Janaway Travel, Tickets Travel, Not Just Travel, Abacus Travel, Andrew Earles Holidays and Travel Lounge, were originally due to fly out on September 25.
Rosemary Price, of Hays Travel in Ringwood, who is visiting Cuba for the first time, said she had been “inundated” with donations from friends, customers and other local businesses.
She said: “I am overwhelmed by people’s generosity and cannot wait to be able to give something back to the lovely people of such a fantastic holiday destination.”
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