Tourism in Cuba: Riding the Wave Toward Sustainable Prosperity
By Richard E. Feinberg and Richard S. Newfarmer (Latin American Initiative at Brookings, Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, December 2016)
The Latin American Initiative at Brookings compiled a guide to the tourism and travel industry in Cuba. As Cuba enjoys its new status as a trophy destination, the Cuban government has recognized tourism as a strategic sector of the economy in its 2030 Vision Plan. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the Cuban government’s policies toward international tourism since the 1959 revolution. It analyzes the challenges to meeting the government’s objectives, explores the organization of the tourism industry in Cuba, and outlines policy options for both Cuba and the United States to help foster growth in Cuba’s tourism industry.
Felipe González discusses the 60th Annual World Tourism Organization Regional Commission on the Americas meeting held in Havana in May of 2016 in conjunction with 36th edition of the Cuba’s International Tourism Fair, emphasizing the recent increases in travel to Cuba as well as noting the emphasis placed by Minister of Tourism Marrero on the important role of the booming non-state sector in the tourism industry. Marrero also announced new strategies to implement standards for the domestic tourism industries as well as the restoration and updating of facilities and opening 2,500 new rooms on the island. Marrero noted that in 2015 tourism brought in about 2.8 billion dollar of direct income to the Cuban economy.
By Mark P. Sullivan (Congressional Research Service, April 10, 2015)
Since Cuba’s establishment as a communist state, the U.S. government has placed sanctions, including travel restrictions, on the island in an effort to isolate it from the rest of the world. This report examines developments in U.S. policy restricting travel and remittances to Cuba, including significant changes that have occurred, current permissible travel and remittances, enforcement of the travel restrictions, and debate on lifting the travel restrictions.
by Stephen Johnson (Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 2012)
Johnson calls for an open exchange of academic information with Cuba to promote advances in several areas of study. Although Cuba is a closed society, the authors point out that past relationships between the United States and other restricted nations such as North Korea and Iran proved to be mutually beneficial. Based on historic relations with Cuba, the author believes that an open educational dialogue would catalyze advances for both U.S. and Cuban scholars.
In 2011 President Obama eased travel restrictions with Cuba to increase contact between Cuban civil society and those living in the United States. The President asks to continue the embargo, while allowing charter flights for purposeful travel from the United States to Cuba.
Letter from Cuban Citizens to the United States Congress
Cuban Civil Society (Intramuros blog, May 2010)
Cuban citizens sent the letter below to Congress, encouraging them to remove the travel ban. The letter reminds the Congress members that there are many non-profit organizations, constituencies, and human rights councils concerned with Cuban isolationism. By easing travel restrictions, the signatories of this letter hope to promote development and to curtail governmental repression.
President Obama’s plan to modernize and globalize Cuba by removing travel restrictions and limits on remittances while adding telecommunications technology and an improved diplomatic relationship with their leaders is detailed here. This fact sheet also lists advisories and changes to policy regarding travel to Cuba.
This position paper from the Latin American Working Group criticizes the George W. Bush administration’s stringent policies towards Cuba and Cuban-American immigrants. Despite harsh restrictions, the authors point to academic relationships between scholars of the two nations as a sign of cooperation and the promise of an eventual restored relationship.
Economic Benefits to the United States from Lifting the Ban on Travel to Cuba
by Ed Sanders and Patrick Long (Cuba Policy Foundation, 2002)
Sanders and Long explore the potential economic benefits to the United States that would result from easing trade and travel restrictions with Cuba. Considering three different scenarios, the report gives both conservative and high estimates about the probability of mutual economic growth.
Cuban-American Cuba Visits: Public Policy, Private Practices
by Susan Eckstein and Lorena Barberia (Email, January 2001)
Survey results from first- and second-generation Cuban immigrants to the U.S. indicate a generation gap concerning visitation, aid, and government relations between the United States and Cuba. According to the researchers’ findings, first-generation immigrants are much more likely to oppose an open relationship with Cuba for moral and political reasons. In contrast, their children have fewer moral qualms about traveling to Cuba and are more likely to support a normalized relationship.
The Cuba Sanctions Resource Center includes guides to Frequently Asked Questions about the Changes to the Cuba Sanctions, Sanctions Brochures, Specific Guidance on the Cuba Sanctions, Fact Sheet on Recent Changes to the Cuba Sanctions, and Interpretative Guidance formulated by the Department of the Treasury.