The United States will ease restrictions on remittances, travel, and banking relations. It appears eventually tourists will be allowed to vacation on the Caribbean Island of Cuba. They will be allowed to use US dollars and US credit cards to pay for expenses and travel packages. Such a step would require congressional approval.
In the short term, the United States will ease travel restrictions across all 12 categories currently envisioned under limited circumstances in American law, including family visits, official visits, journalistic, professional, educational and religious activities, and public performances, officials said. Ordinary tourism, however, will remain prohibited – perhaps only for a short foreseeable timeframe.
This was announced today by US President Barak Obama.
Today’s news regarding the move toward normalization of relationships with Cuba, the US travel industry is welcoming this step. One of the first industry voices heard was from CEO Barry Liben. He is the head of a major US based tour operator and made the following statement:
Our Group applauds the move by the U.S. Government to begin the process of normalizing relations with Cuba. Even though freedom of movement has been one of our most cherished rights as Americans, Cuba has been strictly off-limits to most of us for over 50 years. We believe that there is no greater way for Americans to break down barriers than through their unimpeded travel, where we collectively can exchange in a free flow of ideas.
Across our Group, we’ve already been sending a growing number of Americans to Cuba under federally-licensed people-to-people exchange programs. In fact, this year alone, we’ve sent many of our travel agent professionals to Cuba through this innovative program. Our hope is that Americans will now enjoy substantially more opportunities to act as ambassadors for their country by visiting Cuba.
Our agency has $20 billion in annual sales through our more than 6,500 wholly-owned, franchised and member agencies.