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With the loosening of travel restrictions to Cuba, interest in visiting Cuba has skyrocketed the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) reports, noting that more than a dozen tour operator members of USTOA already offer “people to people” cultural immersion trips.
“Can Americans jump on a plane today to visit Cuba? The short answer is ‘no,’ at least not for some time until commercial flights begin and the infrastructure is in place,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “But, U.S. travelers can visit Cuba today through the existing cultural programs offered by tour operators, such as the members of USTOA.”
Cuba was named one of the top emerging destinations for 2015 in a survey by active members of USTOA conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in the fall. Ranking second behind Myanmar, Cuba’s appearance on the list was driven by increased demand for the people to people exploration, according to Dale.
“This is the first time Cuba has debuted on USTOA’s list of top emerging destinations, and given the continually growing demand to visit the culturally rich nation, our tour operator members plan to enhance and expand their already popular itineraries to offer more extensive, immersive programs to Cuba,” he said.
USTOA notes its tour operator members offer a variety of tours to Cuba, many of which expand beyond Havana and its immediate surroundings to include other cities and the countryside.