US Softens Travel Advisory on Cuba

US Softens Travel Advisory on CubaUS Softens Travel Advisory on Cuba

The United States on Thursday revised its travel advisory on Cuba to “exercise increased caution,” from “reconsider travel”, a move that some in the tourism sector hope could help reverse a decline in American visitors to the Caribbean island. The US State Department had warned its citizens last year not to visit the country because of a spate of still unexplained illnesses among its embassy personnel in Havana, Reuters reported. The new US travel advisory acknowledges, however, that these so-called “attacks” seemed to target those personnel and not private citizens, and therefore simply advises travelers to “exercise increased caution in Cuba.” The warning on travel to Cuba along with tighter restrictions issued last year that made it more difficult for Americans to travel there independently have dampened a recent boom in US visitors to the island. That has particularly hurt those Cubans running bed-and-breakfasts and home-based restaurants in the fledgling private sector. The number of US visitors to Cuba for the first half of the year—not including Cuban-Americans—slumped 24% to 266,000, three different sources with access to Cuban tourism industry data told Reuters in July.


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