Where now for Cuban tourism?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Cuban street

Cuba. Will it change as more tourists arrive.

When President Obama was in office he loosed rules about Americans travelling to and holidaying in Cuba. Us writers and “experts” suggested people holiday inn Cuba in as soon as possible because many of us thought that Cuba would a building boon as the country sought to provide enough accommodation and attractions. We thought that the old, quaint Havana and other Cuban cities might be swamped by international hotels and resorts all of which tend to be the same wherever you are in the world. The same applies to restaurants; there could be a Starbucks on every corner along with a pizza house and a hamburger take-away.

So far that hasn’t happened. Were we wrong?

We hadn’t taken into account the Trump factor. Few expected him to beat Hillary Clinton. Fewer still expected that he would follow through on what he said prior to being elected because most politicians don’t. He did.
In the eighteen months since he took over the number of American visitors has yo-yoed but generally not increased by the forecasted levels.

Although the latest figures suggest that more Americans travelled there in June this year the numbers are still down on the Obama years. In the first half of the year the number of American visitors to Cuba is down to only about 260,000. Compare that to numbers from the UK which are about 200,000 but which has been rising over the last few years. The same applies to French, German, Italian and Spanish visitors all of whom have been traditional suppliers of visitors for decades.

Some experts say that the number of American visitors to Cuba won’t substantially increase until after the Trump years be that from January 20121 or January 2025 if he wins a second term. If true, then a hotel boom may still be a few years away and the fears that many had about the typical Cuban ambience of the present won’t be subsumed into international tourism beige for a few more years.

Should we writers and experts still urge you to visit Cuba now or in the next year or so because we still anticipate tourism beige rather than individuality and Cuban charm?

My answer is yes. But then, I have been wrong before!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,