Tourists warned: Book your Cuba trip now before the 'real' Cuba is lost

Posted: 15-Feb-15 14:30

Cuba has never been more popular, and interest in holidays is increasing. Why are tourists are being urged to book their holidays sooner rather than later? One travel expert has strong ideas about how Cuba could change in the near future.

Tourists warned: Book your Cuba trip now before the 'real' Cuba is lost

Cuba has never been more popular, and since the historic announcement that the US-Cuba trade embargo would be rolled back and allow American tourists to legally visit the country, numbers of inquiries have surged. Figures suggest that they have nearly doubled - and that tourists are being warned to book now or risk seeing a more commercialised, less authentic Cuba.

The twelve official reasons that Americans can visit without a specials licence still don't include tourism proper, but fall under such things as 'family visits', 'religion', 'education' and others. It will also allow American tourists to take home small amounts of Cuban cigars - good news for cigar aficionados.

A normalised relationship between the US and Cuba will also mean easier export of goods to Cuba and hopes for a vastly improved infrastructure, including internet services. Streaming company Netflix recently announced that it would establish on-demand services there, although only affluent tourists with access to wi-fi will be able to use it. However, some tourists prefer the 'off-grid' feeling that Cuba offers.

According to the MailOnline, TravelSupermarket travel expert Bob Atkinson is urging anyone who is thinking of visiting Cuba to book sooner rather than later.

Speaking to MailOnline Travel, Mr Atkinson said:

"It really is a unique place to visit, and once it becomes fully open to the Americans, they will without doubt pile in.

"Havana was seen as a party destination for Americans years ago, such was its close proximity to Florida.

"However you look at it, opening up to the Americans will change the way it feels and I think this will be to the detriment to the culture and heritage of the place.

"I would urge anyone who is thinking of visiting Cuba to book now; there is something about Cuba that you just can't put your finger on.

"I would say go now, as you cannot be sure the culture and heritage of Cuba will remain as it is now."

As one of the popular Caribbean destinations for travellers around the world, Cuba also remains one of the most affordable, and there is a good choice of flights available from the UK.

"On the one hand it is very evident that change will come at some stage, and that the younger generation of Cubans are waiting for that to happen.

"While they have excellent education and healthcare, there is still real poverty, and they lack things that we all take for granted such as a choice of goods to buy (food is mostly from ration shops) and access to the internet and to world news."

Concluded Mr Atkinson.


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