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World Travel & Tourism Council

Trump statement to ‘enforce the ban on tourism’ is a retrograde step for the Cuban people, says WTTC

Cuba is already a very popular tourist destination, currently being the second most visited Caribbean island. Canadians and Europeans have steadily increased their numbers, with direct flights into various beach locations on the island.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is disappointed to hear of President Trump’s plan to reverse key elements of the trading relationship between the US and Cuba, as outlined by President Obama in 2014 and by his visit last year.

“The Cuban people are directly benefiting from increased business and leisure travel to Havana. Travel brings income to the people who work in our industry. President Trump’s statements indicate that the Cuban people, rather than the government will be hit by this policy change” said David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC.

“Airlines, cruise lines and hotel groups have all made significant investments and plans to create jobs and to grow the industry in Cuba, based on clear direction from the previous administration. Our sector needs consistency from governments and stability of policy. This is a clear and unwelcome reversal.”

Cuba is already a very popular tourist destination, currently being the second most visited Caribbean island. Canadians and Europeans have steadily increased their numbers, with direct flights into various beach locations on the island. Visitor exports, which is money spent by foreign travellers in the country, totalled US$2.8 billion in 2016. This is 19.2% of total exports – significantly above the global average of 6.6%. Our sector contributed almost $9 billion to the Cuban economy last year – or just under 10% of the country’s GDP – and we supported almost 500,000 jobs, which is about one in eleven of all jobs.

“There is latent demand from the US for people to visit Cuba to explore its history and culture, and it would be a retrograde step to revert once again to Americans traveling in groups. Over the last months the uptake in travel from the US to Cuba has not been as high as expected, primarily as hotel capacity has not kept up with the demand, leading to some of the US airlines cutting back capacity to the island. President Trump’s announcement will put further pressure on the airlines,” Scowsill continued.

Scowsill concluded: “There is plenty more scope to grow the travel sector in Cuba. The country is not reliant on the US market for further tourism growth, but it is American businesses and leisure consumers that will suffer from this proposed move.

US citizens have been traveling as individuals rather than on group tours. Rolling back this policy and allowing US citizens to only enter the country on organised tours, means that less tourism dollars will find their way to the Cuban people. Tourism is a force for good, it bridges gaps between cultures and empowers local people by creating jobs and income streams. We would urge the Trump administration to support the Cuban people.”

UNWTO condemns US Administration decision to restore travel restrictions with Cuba
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) expresses its firm resentment over the recently-announced decision by the United States Administration to restore travel restrictions with Cuba.

“This represents a step backwards and a strong attack on the freedom of travel,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

“This decision will have limited impact on Cuba’s tourism development, yet it will substantially affect the US economy and American jobs. Many US companies have started to invest in and do business with Cuba in view of the immense potential of Cuban tourism, which other countries will surely continue to benefit from,“ he added.

Tourism is one of the key economic sectors in Cuba, supporting many livelihoods and drawing significant interest from foreign investors, which will surely continue being the case.

In 2016 Cuba received over 4 million international visitors, a growth of over 1 million in only five years.

Carnival Corporation Statement on Updates to Cuba Policy
"Carnival Corporation is pleased that the policy changes announced by the Trump administration will allow our ships to continue to sail to Cuba. We will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel to Cuba since we undertook our historic first cruise to Cuba more than a year ago.

Our experience in Cuba this past year has been extremely positive. We look forward to the new cruises being planned for Cuba with Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line. We also have requested approval for our other brands to travel to Cuba.

Travel brings people and cultures together, so we are excited about the upcoming cruises to Cuba for our guests."

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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