Cuba Journal warns travellers to be cautious of low airfares to Cuba

Posted: 10-Nov-16 10:46

Touching on the fact that Cuba currently struggles to keep up with increasing tourism numbers, especially now that direct commercial flight from the U.S. have been re-established and the American influx is filling hotels to full capacity, an article published in Cuba Journal warns visitors of being lured by low airfares and then being unable to find accommodation availability on their own, pointing to tours and holiday packages as the best option when planning a trip to Cuba.

Cuba Journal warns travellers to be cautious of low airfares to Cuba

At a time when Cuba is at its most attractive and appealing to travellers, especially since Americans are freer and more able than ever to visit the island by their own means, Cuba Journal issues a word of warning about booking travel to Cuba independently and says their best option for visiting the island is either on a tour or by booking a packaged holiday with an experienced travel agency.

This, the article says, is to avoid disappointment when trying to secure the preferred type of accommodation as Cuba´s best hotels struggle to keep up with growing guest numbers and many are booked out for months.

Warning travellers not to be lured by the low, discounted airfares to Cuba now offered by many of the eight approved American carriers (the majority of which have already launched direct commercial flights to the island starting 31st August), Cuba Journal explains that while booking air tickets might be cheap and straightforward, finding desirable accommodation in the island is not.

Issuing a word of caution when trying to arrange travel to Cuba independently, the article says independent travellers are at risk of not being able to find the kind of hotel rooms or “casas particulares” they want or would like to secure in Cuba when trying to book on their own. This is partly due to two factors; the first is that Cuba´s top hotels (especially those in Havana) are operating at full or near-full capacity for months. Islandwide, it´s hard to find availability at Cuba´s most popular hotels, and the better the standards the harder to secure a room.

The second, and also determining factor, is that booking a room at a "casa particular" (or renting an entire one, whether it´s a centric flat in the city or a grand colonial mansion) is not a straightforward process due to Cuba´s poor internet access, which means most “casa particulares” don´t have online booking platforms, and the ones that do are not as responsive as one would expect as the majority don´t have uninterrupted internet access.

This all leads to the important role that tour operators play here. As the article rightly points out, travel agencies specialised in Cuba travel (like us, at Cuba holidays) have a solid, reliable stock of rooms at some of the island´s finest hotels and "casas particulares", which means that booking a tour or packaged holiday gives you the peace of mind of knowing you won´t be booked out of your chosen accommodation option and in fact will have more choice of available rooms to select from.

As a bonus for American travellers, the Cuba tours sold through appropriately licenced travel companies also include expertly-compiled itineraries that comply with the current U.S. rules and restrictions regarding Cuba travel.


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