Warming relations between the Cuban and American governments have reached Cuba’s annual tourism show, reports Ian Stalker in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.
The one-time Cold War antagonists have announced that they plan to restore diplomatic relations and an improving relationship meant this year saw an American tour operator presence at Cuba’s annual tourism show FitCuba, a first for the show.
Cuban tourism minister Manuel Marrero told the show’s opening gathering on the island of Cayo Coco about the presence of the tour operators, which drew immediate applause from show delegates.
The tour operators weren’t identified by Marrero but among them was US heavyweight Apple Vacations, which has a large sun destination program.
Also on hand for the show was Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, who said the prospect of Cuba welcoming large numbers of American tourists is “highly exciting. There’s one more reason for Americans to visit the Caribbean.”
The thought of the US government lifting all restrictions on American travel to Cuba has been viewed with unease on some Caribbean islands, which worry that they may lose American tourists to the Latin destination. But Riley told Travel Courier that unrestricted American travel to Cuba would be a positive development for Caribbean tourism, luring many curious newcomers.
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