Cuba Launches 'Auténtica Cuba'
with Martha Chapman

Rosada la Mejias of the Cuba Tourist Board in Montreal; Maria Elena Lopez, Cuban Vice Minister; Ruben Jimenez and Nieves Ricardo

Gabriela Benedetto of NH Hotels with Anna Tarkowski of the Sunwing Travel Group

Mabel Ocampo and Susan Oland of the Sunwing Travel Group with Roberto Marty of Grupo Sirenis

Ruben Jimenez, new Director/
Canada for the Cuba
Tourist Board

A cool mojito on a summer
day:now that’s service!

The chandeliers twinkled, the pianist enchanted, and the mojitos (those delicious Cuban rum-mint concoctions) entranced. Lunch at your desk it was not.

No indeed: it was lunch at the swank Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Toronto, where industry honchos got a sneak preview of the expansive new ad campaign for Cuba.

Our hosts, the Cuba Tourist Board, were out in full force, including the always charming Nieves Ricardo of the Toronto office, Cuban Vice Minister Maria Elena Lopez and the newest member of team Canada/Cuba: the recently-appointed Director Ruben Jimenez.

As we lunched on a genuine Cuban repast including spiced beef tenderloin with collard greens and rice and beans, we were shown the new campaign, which will include TV ads, print advertising and outdoor ads including billboards.

“This is an enticing campaign which will show our pristine waters, spectacular scenery and wonderful people,” explained Maria Elena Lopez.

And the campaign certainly shows a side of Cuba which not enough Canadians have experienced. There are glimpses of orchestras…baseball players….ballet dancers…and school kids. And, as the ad exec pointed out, not a Starbucks or McDonalds in sight.

Also on stage was Ruben Jimenez, who has been in Canada only since June 20 but is clearly looking forward to his new job. Most recently working in hotel management in Cayo Coco, Jimenez likes that the new campaign showcased aspects of Cuban architecture, music and nature “and so it captures all aspects of our culture.”

“I’m looking forward to promoting Cuba and keeping it a key destination for Canadians,” he told me. And how does he feel about winter? “I’ll see how I survive,” he laughed. “I will sacrifice myself!”

Welcome, Ruben…your team will surely be pleased to provide you with shovelling lessons!


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