Senator pushes for legal operation of U.S. hotels in Cuba

Posted: 11-Mar-16 12:21

With the easing of a half century of diplomatic restrictions between the United States and Cuba, a U.S. senator is pushing to make it easier for certain American companies to operate legally in the island nation. Travel to Cuba is booming and the senator wants the hospitality industry to benefit from the influx of travellers.

Senator pushes for legal operation of U.S. hotels in Cuba

Just 15 months after the United States and Cuba announced an agreement to lift some of the long-standing restrictions between the two countries, a U.S. senator is working to ease up on rules that currently prohibit certain U.S. businesses from operating there.

According to an article printed in the 8th March edition of Travel Weekly, Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, is pushing for the United States to ease up on investment restrictions. Klobuchar is currently chair of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus. She wants to make it easier for U.S. owned hotels to operate legally in Cuba, something that is restricted at present.

Klobuchar, according to the article, believes as diplomatic relations continue to grow it will also lead to more business opportunities. The senator recently sent a letter to the secretaries of Commerce and Treasury outlining her beliefs. In that letter, Travel Weekly reports, the senator says it is imperative that regulatory barriers, such as those restricting American investment in Cuba, be removed.

According to Klobuchar, removing the barriers will help put the American hospitality industry on the same page as other foreign held businesses, all hoping to profit from the new wave of travellers interested in visiting Cuba. A Spanish companies have already more than two-dozen hotels in Cuba, a French-based company has two hotels and Airbnb began allowing Cubans to list their own properties for lodging last spring.

Along with her efforts to push the Obama administration to take action regarding investment restrictions, the senator is also sponsoring legislation aimed at lifting the current embargo on Cuba and legislation that would pave the way for more U.S. goods to be exported to the country.

Recent efforts by Senator Klobuchar to ease up on long-standing restrictions come barely one year after the United States and Cuba first announced a shift in policy to normalise relations between the two former adversaries. After more than a half century, the United States reopened its embassy in Cuba last July and loosened some other financial and travel restrictions that have made it easier for Americans to legally travel to Cuba.


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