US Government Announcing New Cuba Travel Restrictions Today

In June the U.S. government announced they would be mostly banning tourist travel to Cuba.

Fishing on the Malecón in Havana

New rules are being announced today although travel booked before June 16th when the President announced a new policy will be exempted and certain business agreements which pre-date the announcement will be grandfathered.

Americans wanting to visit Cuba will have to go as part of organized tour groups run by U.S. companies. A representative of the sponsoring group must accompany the travelers.

The State Department is publishing a list hotels, restaurants and shops that are off limits because it says they are linked to Cuba’s military. This includes the new Kempinski property.

Sign in support of the 1960s revolution

The administration won’t crack down as hard on US exports to Cuba, though, “expanding and simplifying a license” which permits exports without specific government permission in order to “help the growing private sector in Cuba.”

Airlines are going to be faced with additional cutbacks in their Cuba schedule. They have already been losing large amounts of money flying to Cuba as it is and as seemed obvious from the start that they would with largely leisure travel originating in the U.S. and very little demand originating in Cuba along with limited tourism infrastructure in the country. However carriers wanted to establish their foothold using limited flight authorities and prevent competitors from doing the same. This new policy will mean even lighter loads and weaker yields.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary, you leave out one important point. Despite this new policy you are referring to, it is full steam ahead with all cruises to Cuba with schedules
    published through 2019. In the end, this is probably the better pricing deal anyway given most Havana hotels command a $400-$500 nightly rate.

  2. We just went in September so glad we did. And @Gene, no one stays at hotels. A beautiful AirBnB is about $75/night on the high end.

  3. Could it be that the Tour Companies and Cruise Lines have gotten a boost from the Trump Administration. This excludes independent travel. is the fix in?

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