Trump ban to Cuba doesn't affect Airbnb travellers

0 Likes

Trump ban to Cuba doesn't affect Airbnb travellers

Hello all our friends from US. I bring you here an interesting article about he new policy from Trump administration to Cuba.... and the good news is that this regulations will not affect all visitors travelling and staying in Airbnb's...

 

Don't Let Confusion Stall Your Cuba Travels

 

Harry S. Truman is widely credited with using the quote, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” Although it turns out, this wasn’t Truman’s personal belief, but rather a critique of politicians who employ the strategy.

 

Now, nearly 70 years later, the maxim could be the guiding factor behind the Trump administration’s policies on Cuba.

 

Nearly five months after Trump delivered a stirring speech in Miami that promised he would be “canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” the president has put pen to paper to make official the policies he outlined in June.

 

That President Donald Trump wants to roll back relations with Cuba is not a surprise. It was among the tent pole issues of his presidential campaign.

 

Trumpeting American values, his June speech promised, “We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.

 

Of course, the irony that Trump has signed these measures against Cuba’s “brutal” regime while in the midst of a state visit to China has raised its own eyebrows.

 

“[At] a time that President Trump is meeting with Communist leaders in China and Vietnam, these regulations show the absolute hypocrisy and political pandering of the Trump administration in Cuba,” said Collin Laverty of Cuba Educational Travel, in an interview with the Washington Post (h/t Tampa Bay Times.) “They serve to placate a fading minority in South Florida, harming American and Cuban workers and families."

 

Cancellation Policy

For Americans, Trump’s seemingly imbalanced approach is just the start of the confusion.

 

What is really driving head-scratching nationwide is confusion over just what Trump meant when he said he was “canceling” Obama’s forward progress with respect to Cuba.

 

As TravelPulse reported in August, “The problem now for Cuba tour operators is that many people took Trump at his word that he had ‘canceled’ the Obama changes and assume they cannot travel to Cuba anymore.

 

“[There] was some confusion based on some of the language,” said Tom Popper, president of insightCuba. “Trump said he was canceling the policy when in the end the changes were very moderate. The language didn’t match the policy.”

In fact, today’s rollbacks should prove to have minimal effect on American travelers to Cuba.

 

Except possibly for people who were looking forward to a solo trip to the once-forbidden land.

 

Bear in mind, tourism to Cuba has been, is and continues to be prohibited for Americans. President Obama loosened the process on People-to-People visas, allowing individuals not traveling in a group to apply, but that regulation has now been rolled back.

Which means travelers will once again be required to enter Cuba in a group handled by an authorized tour company under the guidance of an authorized group leader. Individual travel, in most cases, is no longer allowed.

 

According to The Hill, the Trump administration said Americans were “abusing” the people-to-people policy to craft vacations in Cuba, which was part of the impetus to roll back the regulation.

 

Interestingly, in an effort to funnel more monies to the Cuban people, the new rules allow the use of “private accommodations” by people traveling to Cuba for legitimate “Support for the Cuban People" programs.

 

This could be good news for Airbnb, which operates some 22,000 listings in the Caribbean nation. Still, tourism officials wonder how many Americans will actually use Airbnb in Cuba if they are required to travel there in a group.

 

The most sweeping changes, with respect to the travel industry, come hand in hand with a crackdown on working with companies that have “ties” to the Cuban military. The U.S. Department of State has identified 180 “prohibited” companies, including hotels, travel agencies and tour operators, some retail shops and some rum companies that are now off-limits to Americans.

 

 

The formalized ruling might mean tour operators have to change some of the hotels and vendors with which they’re working. Although, as the ruling has been five months in the making, most probably already have alternate plans at the ready.

The banned companies are mostly owned by four entities, GAESA, Cimex, Gaviota and Habaguanex, which all funnel money back to the military, and all have considerable investment in retail and tourism interests throughout the nation.

Exceptions apply, which seem to favor American interests in Cuba.

 

For example, companies that signed deals before the regulations took place are exempt from the ban. Specifically, Americans can stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Havana, the first U.S. hotel to open in Cuba in more than 50 years, despite the fact that the property is owned by GAESA, one of the banned companies.

 

On the other hand, Cuba’s first five-star hotel, the Manzana Kempinski, which opened in June, will be off-limits to Americans starting Thursday. The property, operated by the Swiss-owned Kempinski Hotels, is owned by Gaviota.

 

Cuba Remains Open for Business

 

Despite any confusion that may have arisen with the latest round of Cuba policy rollouts from Washington D.C., the tourism industry is reminding Americans that Cuba is, most assuredly, open for business.

 

As always, any confusion that may accompany travel plans is best combatted with a strong advocate in your corner (and possibly a healthy dose of travel insurance.)

 

Working with an educated travel agent or a tour operator specializing in Cuba is an excellent way to plan the right trip for you.