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Cuba Trips Still Get Green Light from Tour Operators, Airlines and Cruise Lines

Beth Harpaz and Adriana Gomez Licon - Associated Press
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October 6, 2017
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Travel to Cuba Legally (Cultural Island Travel)

Update: After Hurricanes and Las Vegas Shooting, Countries Warn Citizens About Travel to U.S. (Conde Nast Traveler)

Tour companies, airlines, cruises and others in the travel industry say they will continue taking Americans to Cuba despite a dramatic safety warning issued last week by the U.S. State Department.

“We continue to believe that Cuba is a safe destination for our travelers, and we will be running our tours until our assessment changes,” said Greg Geronemus, CEO of SmarTours. “There has long been significant political tension between the U.S. and Cuban governments, but the experience that our travelers have had on the ground with the Cuban people has been nothing short of amazing. We have no reason to expect that these experiences will not continue.”

Travel providers point out that there are no reports of American travelers having been harmed by the mysterious sonic attacks against U.S. diplomats and other officials, and that travel to Cuba by Americans remains legal under existing regulations.

Collin Laverty of Cuba Educational Travel noted that the U.S. State Department has issued numerous alerts and advisories against travel by Americans to places like Mexico and Europe because of crime, terrorism and other dangers. In contrast, in Cuba, “they have no evidence to indicate that U.S. travelers at risk during their visits to Cuba.” He also called the warning “absolutely unnecessary and counterproductive.”

The Trump Administration said earlier this year that it planned to issue new rules limiting travel by Americans to Cuba but it has not yet done so.

U.S. airlines continue to offer regular flights to Cuba, cruises continue to make stops there, Airbnb has a thriving rental business in Cuba and tour companies are still offering trips.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said that because the incidents referenced in the warning took place in hotels and diplomatic residences, “we do not feel that they pose a risk to our cruise passengers.” A Carnival cruise spokeswoman said it was “evaluating” the warning.

Read the rest at Skift

Related: Cuban Expert Weighs in on Potential Travel Ban (newKerala.com)

Related: Four Things Travelers Should Never Pack for a Trip to Cuba (The Manual)


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