(Dive Travel Business News - Feb 27, 2012) -- Orlando International Airport is the latest U.S. airport to be granted permission to offer flights to Cuba. The airport received the OK from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Feb 1, 2012. But airport officials said that none are currently scheduled. As the seventh airport to be given approval for Cuba, Orlando International joins Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Palm Beach and Fort Myers in facilitating such flights. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - January 27, 2012) -- Fueled by the Arab Spring, changes in US policy and economic reforms, Cuba is enjoying one of the best tourist seasons ever. Last year Cuba had it's best year ever with 2.7 million visitors but observers are predicting that this year should beat that number. The political stability and lack of crime in tightly controlled Cuba are strong lures for visitors. Clean Cuban beaches are also an attraction.
This high season has also seen a resurgence in visitors from Europe. Cuba has attracted many Europeans who would have gone to North Africa but balked because of the "Arab Spring" uprisings, tourism officials say.
Cuban Americans have been flooding into Cuba since U.S. President Barack Obama lifted restrictions for them to travel to their homeland in 2009. But now the number of other American visitors is climbing after Obama changed regulations in 2011, making it easier for non-Cuban Americans to enter a country the US trade embargo made off-limits for the past 50 years. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - October 11, 2011) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has eased some restrictions on Americans travelling to Cuba: Just 90 miles across the Florida Straits from Cuba, Key West joins a string of other U.S. cities - Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston and San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miami, New York and Los Angeles - to be authorized by federal authorities to host charter flights to Cuba. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - May 25, 2011) -- A joint project to develop tourism links between Cuba and Mexico could open the U.S. tour market to the Caribbean islands in the form of vacation packages that combine Mexico and Cuba.
The decision by Cuba and Mexico to work together to promote vacations that combine both countries was unveiled at Cuba’s recent 31st International Tourism Fair in Cuba (FITCUBA 2011). FITCUBA is Cuba’s annual international trade event, attracting travel agents and tour operators from 40 countries, including Western Europe and Canada – but not the U.S.
Cuba is the Caribbean’s third most popular destination, according to Cuba’s tourism ministry, and that’s without benefit of travel from the destination’s number one travel market – the U.S. The U.S. market accounts for more than half of the Caribbean’s annual vacation visitors.
At least one American proponent of opening U.S. travel to Cuba sees the joint promotion with Mexico as a foot in the door for American travelers. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - March 12, 2011) -- Federal regulations announced in January 2011 that expanded religious, academic, cultural and journalistic travel between the U.S. and Cuba have prompted the approval of eight new U.S. airports to offer passenger charter flights from the U.S. to/from Cuba.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is allowing airports in Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tampa and San Juan to offer charter air service to the destination. Charter flights currently operate from Los Angeles, Miami and New York LaGuardia, primarily for travel by family members to visit relatives in Cuba. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - November 8, 2010) -- WestJet has begun new seasonal nonstop service between Toronto and Santa Clara, Cuba. WestJet will fly between Toronto and Santa Clara weekly each Friday. One-way fares, available in both directions on non-stop flights only, are available from $149 plus applicable taxes and fees. For more information, call WestJet's Sales Super Centre at 888-WEST-JET (937-8538) or visit www.westjet.com.
(Dive Travel Business News - November 7, 2010) -- A weakened Hurricane Tomas moved into the open Atlantic Ocean, about 525 miles southwest of Bermuda on Sunday. After declining to tropical storm status after causing flooding across several regions of earthquake-ravaged Haiti on Saturday, the storm’s winds fell to 60 mph. According to international press reports, the storm avoided Haiti’s largest homeless encampments, located around the capital of Port au Prince. Roughly 1.3 million people remain homeless following the Jan. 12 earthquake. Tomas did not cause loss of life or significant damage in Cuba, according to reports, and largely bypassed the Turks & Caicos. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - June 30, 2010) -- In a vote of 25 to 20, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee approved the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act. This is the first hurdle towards lifting the ban on US travel to Cuba, in a measure that also eases restrictions on the sale of American commodities there. The Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act must still get through another House committee and pass the full House. Then the Senate would have to pass its own version of the bill before it could be signed by the president.
Before the final vote, the Agriculture Committee rejected several amendments that would have eliminated the travel ban reversal or delayed its enactment. Opponents of the bill argue that while export restrictions should be eased, lifting the travel ban would benefit only the Communist government led by Fidel and Raúl Castro. read more »