Making Tourists Want to Return to Cuba

By Veronica Vega

Photo: Larry Wiggs

HAVANA TIMES — Service to others is perhaps one of the most significant shortcomings we have in our culture and, by extension, our education.

Other countries with ancient traditions founded on spiritual practices believe that serving is a path towards self-fulfillment; but even from a businessman’s pragmatic viewpoint, serving a customer properly is a sure guarantee of success.

Cuban businesspeople know the compensatory value of providing a service with vocation. How can you anticipate every client’s individual needs? How can you establish this invisible connection of respect and kindness even though it’s founded on an exchange of interests?

According to Leonel Pinet, the objective is to make tourists not feel possible inconveniences on their trip to the island. Incidents which might stem from a difference in culture, climate, language or the almost unforeseeable peculiarities of our complex reality. Anticipating them, going out of our way, doing like they do in that old comedy of Laurel and Hardy: Hardy received nearly all the blows while Laurel didn’t even realize.

What is “Your Days in Cuba”?

Your Days in Cuba is a modest and private travel agency. It was founded as a result of its creator’s professional maturity and social need.

How have tourists embraced it?

Up until now, tourists see it as a personalized service to ensure they have a high-quality trip.

What are the most regular problems you have to deal with?

Overcoming the obstacle that our cultural barrier presents has been a regular problem, making sure that there are no misunderstandings when getting a tourist package ready.

Photo: Larry Wiggs

In your opinion, are there different kinds of tourists? Which are the most demanding?

Yes, there are many kinds of tourists, that’s why you need to be professional. The word “demanding” implies looking out for flaws in the customer. It’s not a fair way of thinking because every customer has expectations, always. It isn’t about their demands, but the service you are providing.

Do you have any interesting anecdotes you’d like to share?

There was this one time when I thought everything was going smoothly when a customer told her husband that they should cut short the tour and go back to their accommodation. I was surprised as there was one more activity left. I knew that something wasn’t right, but because the tourist was a very discreet person, I couldn’t pick up on what was going on; so I decided to ask her what she thought I could do to improve my service. Then, I saw her face light up and she suggested that it would be a good idea to take some breaks during a walking tour, due to Cuba’s harsh climate. Even though I didn’t know how to do this in the beginning, I’m very grateful for her suggestion.

Is there a culture of service here in Cuba?

Nobody thinks the same when it comes to serving others. But, one thing that is clear is that, in the long run, people are only successful if you adopt the science of Customer Service and Convenience.

Do you feel fulfilled in spite of all the setbacks?

Yes, problems fertilize the earth where professionals grow.

What is Your Days in Cuba main objective?

The main objective is to free ourselves of a scary, horrifying and destructive monster: mediocrity. We want to honor the Creator of the human mind.

Is there anything you would like us to publish here on Havana Times?

Yes, thanks. Your Days in Cuba provides:  Local assistance, Interactive Cuban experiences, Vital information and more…
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