Cuba: friend or foe for neighbouring Caribbean nations' tourism industry?

Posted: 08-Jan-16 16:05

The recent increase in interest in travel to Cuba following the changes in diplomatic relations is causing a stir in the tourism industry, and many are worried if the changes will have an impact on the Caribbean tourism sector. The increase in bookings to Cuba might have increased, but the lack of infrastructure could mean that Caribbean nations don't have to be worried just yet.

Cuba: friend or foe for neighbouring Caribbean nations' tourism industry?

As travellers from all around the world get ready to visit the island of Cuba before it inevitably changes after a five-decade-long travel and trade embargo with the U.S., the question for many is what impact will it have on the tourism industry in Caribbean nations?

At present, U.S travellers can only visit Cuba through people to people programmes organised by licenced travel operators in the U.S. However, the recent resumed diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba could mean many changes within the next few months, and international travellers are keen to visit the communist island to capture the nation in its original and "untouched" form while they have the chance.

While demand for travel to Cuba might be high, its infrastructure is not yet ready for an influx of tourists, and its Caribbean neighbours boast a far superior infrastructure that can accommodate travellers on all budgets.

Susan Berman, from Berman Travel in Atlantic City, NJ. commented:

"I have been getting a lot of calls about Cuba. But when I tell them what the ‘people to people tours' entail, it sounds pretty rigid."

U.S travellers on people to people tours have packed agendas with little free time, and the itinerary must include specific criteria, such as visits to cultural attractions, meetings with local Cubans, and interaction with the local community.

"Clients aren't used to that kind of structure when they go to the Caribbean. They want to lie on a beach and have a Pina Colada. Most of them tell me: ‘I'll wait until later.' "

Berman continued explaining:

"Wi-Fi is not great, hotels are a little basic, and when I price it out for clients, it's pretty expensive. They could go to the Dominican Republic or Jamaica for half the price, and stay in a resort with all the amenities."

Despite the high costs, Cuba could soon become an alternative to resorts in the Caribbean like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, or Barbados, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association recently described Cuba's opening to U.S. visitors as "the biggest and most disruptive pebble to be dropped into the Caribbean" since the U.S. embargo was first enforced more than 50 years ago.

While some tourism organisations fear the competition, others like the Bahamas are working alongside travel authorities and the government in Cuba to offer multi-destination packages so holidaymakers can visit both countries.


Popular Holidays in cuba

OUR EXCLUSIVE DEALS AND LATEST OFFERS

Best Value

From £599 per person
villa pinares de mayari

Villa Pinares De Mayari

4.0 stars

Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £629 per person
villa mirador de mayabe

Villa Mirador De Mayabe

2.0 stars

This enchanting villa hotel is surrounded by exuberant tropical plants and is perfectly located in a high point towering...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
sercotel club cayo guillermo

Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo

3.0 stars

The perfect haven for lovers of nature in its purest state, the Villa Cojimar hotel sits in an idyllic location amidst...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
club amigo atlantico guardalavaca

Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca

3.0 stars

Get away to one of Cuba's best kept secrets for a dream holiday at Club Amigo Atlantico. Guardalavaca is known to host...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
tryp cayo coco

Tryp Cayo Coco

4.0 stars

The perfect beach holiday awaits you the all-inclusive Tryp Cayo Coco hotel, where non-stop entertainment and utmost...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £699 per person
memories holguin

Memories Holguin

4.0 stars

Enjoy a perfect beach setting while you unwind in the historic sands of the all-inclusive Memories Holguin. A short...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation

More deals


Explore cuba your way

Tailor made cuba holidays

For those who prefer to travel at their own pace or to explore places not included in the brochure itineraries, we have years of experience at organising tailor-made holidays.

Create the perfect trip with the help of our specialists

Our expert tour consultants will be pleased to suggest ideas to complement your own and to organise the most appropiate programme to suit your interests, time and budget.

Call 0207 644 1600
to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

If you would like a member of our team to contact you back, please click here Contact us