Trade dismay at news Captivating Cuba has ceased operating

By Lisa James
Home » Trade dismay at news Captivating Cuba has ceased operating

Agents have expressed shock and sadness after the Civil Aviation Authority announced Captivating Cuba has ceased trading as an ATOL holder.

The Hertfordshire-based specialist operator has been running tailormade holidays to Cuba for 25 years.

It operated under ATOL number 10897 and the CAA said it ceased trading as an ATOL holder on 10 May.

Agents said they were ‘sad’ at the ‘horrible’ news, with TravelWise Travel Consultant Dallal BenRomdhane paying tribute to the operator’s ‘fantastic staff both here and over in Cuba’.

Simone Adams, Senior Travel Consultant at Sutton Travel in Sutton Coldfield, said: “The Captivating Cuba team are so knowledgeable. They were such a good specialist, always efficient, with great information and fast quotes.

“We’ve had two recent queries, one last month and one this month and they put together fantastic itineraries and great quotes.”

Hays Travel Personal Travel Consultant Geraldine Sproston said: “My clients went away with them last month, had the most amazing time and Gemma Thurgood assisted me with the booking from start to finish and was just awesome.”

Alan Meadows, Business Development Manager at another Cuba specialist, Simply Cuba, said: “I’m absolutely gutted for Captivating Cuba. It’s a great company with nice people. They did a lot for UK tourism to Cuba.”

Alan set up Simply Cuba in July last year, after the previous operator he worked for, Live Cuba, closed down in October 2022. He said: “I have been through this myself – it’s a horrible thing.”

A message on the Simply Cuba Facebook page says: “We here at Simply Cuba are shocked and deeply saddened by the closure of a great Cuban Specialist, Captivating Cuba.

“Our hearts go out to [Director] Matthew [O’Sullivan] and his incredible team, both here in the UK and across Cuba, who had built up this amazing company and were a leading force in bringing tourism to Cuba over many years.

“We hope that the staff find new employment quickly, and we can only say that they would be a fantastic asset to any company out there who employs them.

“We know from past experience that these initial days are filled with shock and sadness, but also that a number of agents will have bookings that need re-booking and we at Simply Cuba will try our best to help in any way we can.

“We do expect our phones lines to be busy over the next few days so would appreciate your patience while we deal with the enquiries, please email [email protected] or call reservations 0203 8051177.”

Agents who have bookings with Captivating Cuba have been told not to refund passengers with consumer payments they are holding and to wait until they’ve been contacted with further instructions by the CAA.

See also: Launch of UK charter flights to Cuba delayed until June

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