Q & A with Inge Kupper, Meier’s Weltreisen Managing Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
This is one of the senior executives taking place in the 2007 “Welcome to Cuba” Mega Fam that’s currently touring the Caribbean island nation through Sept. 21. As many as a hundred travel agents and experts related to this major Germany-based tour operator signed up for the nationwide trip.
While being on the road en route to a number of locations, from Varadero Beach to the westernmost province of Pinar del Rio, Mrs. Kupper talked with Caribbean News Digital and shared her views on this Mega Fam journey and Cuba as a travel destination.
How can a travel agent benefit from a trip like this?
Each and every travel agent must know a product well, in this case Cuba. Since we have longstanding ties with this Caribbean nation, we made up our minds to bring them over and give them firsthand information. Many of these people had never been to Cuba before.
Do you believe Cuba has a variety of tourism options to offer?
This island nation is blessed with breathtaking beaches, good hotels, yet there are other things to see. That’s why we promote and sell different travel destinations within the country, and by doing that we give tourists a chance to see its diversity. Even though a considerable chunk of tourists fly straight to Havana, they pick those other travel destinations across the nation.
Just like other Caribbean travel destinations, Cuba lures sunbathers from different places, including Germany. What is it that makes a difference?
It’s hard to compare different destinations in the Caribbean, especially the islands that depend on tourism, because all of them appear to have similar attractions, like palm trees, the beaches and other niceties. However, there’s something special about Cuba. This country has a music of its own, its culture –we’ve gotten pretty acquainted with all that through Buena Vista Social Club. Furthermore, Cubans are very hospitable people and the entire destination is completely safe for tourists.
How does Cuba stack up as part of the Meier’s agenda?
Cuba is a tourist product on the rise for Meier’s. Our publicity brochure and documents are adding new elements with each passing day, so that speaks volumes of what this island has to offer. To Meier’s, this is one of the most important destinations in the Caribbean.
What can you tell us about Meier’s, its companies and their mutual relationships?
Meier’s Weltreisen is a tour operator that deals with long-haul travel destinations away from Europe, with over 25 years of experience under its belt. It holds ties with a number of well-known partners in all those destinations, so that renders in a level of experience and expertise that makes it the number-one tour operator in Germany.
I’ve noticed that many participating agents in this Mega Fam trip have good relationships among themselves and know one another.
After 15 years of hard work with Meier’s, I can say there are very close relationships among the different companies, cooperation ties, mutual relations. That’s why we work as one big family.
What are your expectations for this 2007 Mega Fam?
I hope that a week from now our travel agents will have a much better understanding of what this destination is actually all about. I hope they like it, they learn more about it because that would put them in a better position to both promote and sell Cuba as a travel destination.