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Cuba is Open for Business
Cuba is poised to become an American tourist destination
The 1959 Cuban revolution severed the relationship between the island-country and the United States, yet the last decades have seen efforts from both sides to rebuild its diplomatic ties. Earlier this year, eight U.S. senators, led by Jeff Flake, put forth a bill entitled ‘The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act,’ to lift the American travel ban to Cuba.
If you’re planning to go there, better check with the airlines first. Currently there are no scheduled flights from America to Cuba, only chartered ones. Though several US airlines like JetBlue, American, Miami Air Planes and Sky Ling offer chartered or private flights on a daily basis, cancellation of these flights is a common occurrence, especially when the airline hasn’t filled the seats. The good thing as of now is that the U.S. has seen an influx of passengers bound for Cuba lately, so there are lesser chances of cancellations happening as far as filled seats go. Chartered flights are quite expensive, though, with each individual spending at least $236 for the handling fee alone. Direct flights from the U.S. to Cuba are also very difficult to find. Chartered flights depart from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Tampa airport and land at Havana, Camaguey or Cienfuegos, depending on the airline.
Airlines are itching to schedule flights to Cuba
Don’t get discouraged travelling there yet-President Obama is working on making travel to Cuba easier by striking a deal with the Cuban government. If it is successful, by the end of 2015 you could be sitting in one of those Havana-bound, non-chartered flights. In short, Cuba will soon be open to American tourism.
U.S. airlines are itching to fly their planes to and from Cuba. Most, like American, Delta, United and JetBlue, are just waiting for the green light. They’re seeing Cuba as a good destination for travel- one full of opportunity and profit. They can’t wait to enter the market, as soon as the the U.S. resolves issues with regards to aviation security and safety, and once a full agreement is reached with the island country. Travel agencies are also preparing themselves for the addition of Cuba to their systems.
This is good news for travelers to Cuba. By booking tickets for a scheduled flight, the costs will be lower. There’s no need to limit your visiting time to catch the next chartered plane, as there will be regular flights. Second, direct flights will be available. When the deal becomes legalized, U.S. airports like JFK will be opening their gates to planes on scheduled flights bound for the said country, so you don’t have to drag your baggage all the way to Tampa or Miami just to catch your trip.
You may decide to take a trip to Cuba for either religious, journalistic, educational, family obligations, cultural purposes or more.
Potential downside for Cuba
When scheduled flights become available, airline companies are seeing a surge of travel demands to Cuba. Tourism will boost. While this is seen as a good opportunity, there’s a downside too.
Travel and tour companies that operate in Cuba claim that the country may not have enough hotels and infrastructure to house its guests. The influx of tourists will mean a rise in the demand of hotel rooms . When this happens, the hotels’ management will have no choice but to increase its prices further. The Cubans may see the need to build more infrastructures to meet the demand.
Tour prices will likewise hike. Cuba, with its exotic Caribbean beauty and tropical climate, will easily become a very hot market for American tourists. Tour operators will have a busy time managing everything and will have to increase capacity by adding more manpower.
This September 28-29 in Havana, the U.S. and Cuba are scheduled to have a talk to finalize the agreement and to further normalize the services of the airlines for the scheduled flights.
The opening of the Cuban market to the United states, after around 50 years of a travel ban, will have great impact on both countries’ economies, no doubt. On a smaller scale, this is a benefit travelers will be very thankful for. As soon as the U.S.-Cuba deal takes effect, they’ll have every opportunity to explore marvelous sights and rich culture their Latin American neighbor has to offer. To enjoy your stay and probably become more cost-efficient, search for various travel tips and plan your itinerary carefully.
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