Articles Tagged with tourism

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Hurricane Irma charged through Cuba last weekend, demolishing buildings, uprooting trees, and leaving 10 dead in its wake. The Category 5 storm had winds as fast as 160 miles per hour when it made landfall in Cuba, making it the most powerful storm to reach the island since 1932.

The amount of damage to the country’s infrastructure and industry was devastating. In the aftermath, some people are mourning, many are rebuilding, and some are just enjoying the feeling of relief brought on by clear skies.
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carnival-300x200Good news for Cuba-bound cruisers – your options for a Cuban cruise vacation are increasing by the day. As demand for cruises to the Caribbean’s largest island increases, more and more companies are adding tours of Cuba to their menus.

With the first American cruise ship visiting the island just last year, it’s a market that is still developing. And with President Trump’s proposed rollback of Obama-era regulations that allowed for a broad category of “people to people” visits, the future is relatively uncertain for tourists. After all, trips to Cuba for the sole purpose of tourism are still not allowed. Cruises, however, seem to be safe from future measures, as most cruise lines have an official group people to people program; President Trump has only indicated that he would be tightening up individual travel to the island.

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Many think of old Havana of being just that–old, trapped in an era during which the United States (and much of the Western world) cut off contact. For a long time, this notion wasn’t far from the truth, but since the turn of the 20th century, Havana has been changingMany contributing factors, including a loosening of restrictions on small-scale private enterprise by the new regime, has led to a slow and assured blossoming of newness in the city. Continue reading

Cuba-Restaurant-300x200Cuban authorities are reportedly raiding several private restaurants on the island in what appears to be a government crackdown on entrepreneurs transgressing the Castro regime’s definition of free enterprise.

El Litoral, a high-end paladar known for its food and clientele, was the first to get raided by authorities. Officials from the Technical Department of Investigations reportedly carted off tables, chairs, plates, sound systems, and bottles of imported liquor.

Neighboring businesses told news sources that the owner of El Litoral got in trouble because of money laundering allegations. The liquor the restaurant served didn’t come from official government sources and some of its employees were allegedly being paid off the books. Servers also reportedly told clients that they accept dollars if they don’t have CUCs (Cuban convertible pesos). U.S. dollars are not legal tender on the island.

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Cuban-Travel-New-Rules-300x200Tourism has reportedly been a bright spot for the Cuban economy during the first half of 2017, pulling in 23 percent more tourists than the same period last year. But other areas of the island nation’s economy have foundered and failed to meet projected targets, Cuban officials have revealed.

The Cuban economy experienced a 1.1 percent growth during the first half of the year thanks to the tourism, agriculture, and construction sectors. Other economic sectors have reportedly performed poorly as the island bounced back from a recession and faced difficulties securing trade credits.

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Norwegian-Sky-300x225The wave of tourism brought by the 700 Americans who arrived in Havana by sea in May 2016 is showing no signs of abating more than one year later, even with the new restrictions placed on American travelers to the island by President Donald Trump.

Adonia’s historic voyage from Port Miami to Cuba was the first of its kind in almost 40 years. It marked a big step in the normalization process between Cold War enemies that was started by former President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro on December 17, 2014. The embargo imposed by Congress almost 60 years ago is still in place, but the Obama administration relaxed the rules to allow Americans to visit the island if the trip falls under one of 12 categories of travel.

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cubavisit-300x202The number of international tourists to Cuba in 2016 rose by 13.9 percent to a record 4 million. Cuba was second only to the Dominican Republic (5.96 million) in number of visitors.

Cuban tourism officials are expecting another record year in 2017. It may sound like Cuba is competing with other islands—visitors to the entire Caribbean region increased by just 2.4 percent last year—but Caribbean leaders reportedly view Cuba’s success as a way to raise the tourism profile of all the islands in the regions.

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