People, Travel

Cuban Tourism to Suffer Thanks to Trump

Travel to Cuba has steadily increased since 2015.Travel to Cuba has steadily increased since 2015.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to tighten trade opportunities for American businesses in Cuba.

The doors of opportunity opened by President Barak Obama in 2015 which made travel to Cuba possible may swing shut as Trump is expected to reinstate trade regulations that will inhibit the growing flow of tourism from the United States, TeleSUR reported.

Travel to Cuba has steadily increased since 2015. By January this year, tourism saw an increase of 145%, closing in on 2016’s benchmark of 284,937 by May of this year.

However, these numbers still fall short of US airlines’ expectations, who invested liberally following the promise of potential profits.

Additionally, although the former president lowered the restrictions on travel, US citizens are required to declare the reason for travels under one of 12 sections and tourism is not listed. US citizens may only visit Cuba if their activities pertain to government affairs, journalism, research, education, religious or humanity projects, family, or business. However, many claim there is almost no enforcement of the tourism ban. The Trump administration has promised to reinstate the regulations, citing "human rights" concerns.

“We would love to keep the sunny side, we’d love to keep it in compliance with existing statutes that doesn’t lead to financial support for what we can only describe continues to be a very oppressive regime,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week.

Trump was planning to make good on his promise and was expected to travel to Miami Friday to announce his intentions to reverse the changes to Barack Obama’s Cuba policy, by setting guidelines for business, severely handicapping their trading endeavors.

Yuri Barroso, a business promotions expert in Cuba, told Reuters that if the country were to lose its support from US tourists, it would cause serious financial "pain for many Cubans."


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