There have been numerous interesting developments and outright surprises since President Obama announced in late 2014 that the U.S. and Cuba agreed to begin normalizing diplomatic relations.
The latest head-turner was Thursday when Trump administration officials revealed that the president would announce Friday that the U.S. government is tightening travel policies toward Cuba but wouldn’t implement an outright ban of flights and cruises, for example.
Still, we have to introduce a note of caution here since, as with all things Trump, the policies could pivot on a peso tomorrow.
One thing in store is more aggressive scrutiny of whether travelers’ itineraries are consistent with the 12 permissible categories of travel, or whether the categories themselves will be rewritten when the fine print emerges in the next several weeks or months.
While there was a degree of initial euphoria that Cuba would become the next hot destination on the bucket lists of throngs of travelers when Obama and Cuba opened things up, it hasn’t turned out that way as the demand wasn’t there and the infrastructure was lacking.
Airlines scheduled new routes and then cut capacity; secondary cities that had seemed promising failed to attract enough demand to warrant flights.
There were some standup moments, too, as when Carnival Corp. announced it would delay sailings to Cuba unless Cuban-born passengers were allowed to board and cruise to their homeland.
Following are two dozen stories — all original Skift reporting — on how the business of travel has developed in Cuba over the last three years.
September 24, 2015
Anthony Bourdain’s New Cuba Episode Shows an Island in Transition
March 21, 2016
Booking.com-First Strategy at Play In Priceline’s Cuba Entry
September 6, 2016
Cuba’s Hotel Challenges: A Guide to All the Projects in Process
December 21, 2016
Carnival Corp. CEO Says Cuba Is a Longer-Term Play
January 18, 2017
JetBlue Rolls Out Loyalty Program Incentives for Cuba Routes