glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

Will opening up Cuba to cruise travel negatively affect the rest of the Caribbean Islands?

Caribbean Tourism Officials are concerned that warming relations between Cuba and the US will have a deleterious effect on other Caribbean Islands - especially those closest to Cuba - Jamaica, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.  Cuba saw a 36 % increase in US tourist travel in 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.  International arrivals also rose 14 %.  Caribbean officials expect those numbers to keep rising.  The association seeks to create a Caribbean Basin Tourism Initiative to help boost investment and travel across the region with help from the US,  Do you think that the Caribbean Islands need to be concerned about the popularity of Cuba to tourists?

Tags: Caribbean - Bahamas Caribbean Islands Bahamas travel to Cuba

17 Answers

glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

I know that a lot of my friends have already visited Cuba in the last year or two.  I would love to visit there also.  I think that the Caribbean Islands do need to be concerned and attempt to boost travel to their islands.  I think that initially there will be great interest in Cuba because it is a new destination.  Everyone is always looking for new ports.  However once passengers travel there I think that they will continue to travel to the other Caribbean Islands as well.

JusMe
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

I think that Cuba will get an initial flood of tourist because it has been on the no travel list for so long.  The % may seam like a huge increase but when starting from near nothing 36% more is still not a lot of people.  The food, people, weather and architecture can be a draw for visitors,  the restrictions can be a deterrent. 

The question is can Cuba handle a flood of tourist ?   Do they have the infrastructure for it ?   Will tourist like that they can only go to certain areas and not have free run of the island ?  

I have noticed in Cuba travel packages that you go in groups and have guides,  your not free to roam the country at will.  The Cuba packages that I saw are not cheap vacation like a lot of the islands are.

It will be another option in the area,  competition is good,  keeps prices low and keeps places fighting for your vacation $.

glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

At this point, I don't think that Cuba can handle a sudden increase in tourism.  I really do not wish to visit Cuba the way it is set up now.  I will wait awhile for restrictions to lessen. I hope someday in the future to cruise to Cuba.  I am willing to be patient.  I have other places on my bucket list.  

noname111
Contributor Level: Captain

I look forward to the chance to visit Cuba but I'm not beating down any doors to go quite yet. I do not believe they have the infrastructure to handle an influx of foreign visitors yet. As for the damage to other island economies, honestly if the attraction to any given island is so narrow that another island will be damaged, it is up to that other island to do something about it.  

I'm not a big fan of Jamaica or the Bahamas to begin with so if faced with a choice of going to Cuba versus either of those places - - - it would be Cuba hands-down.

glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

Europeans are already going to Cuba. 

I think that the major US cruise lines are just waiting for travel restrictions to be lifted to begin cruises to Cuba. However,  I do not want a one day stop in Cuba as a shore excursion.  I want several days in the country at least.   I do not think that this will happen very soon.  But, one day it will happen,

JusMe
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain
cruznjan
Contributor Level: Staff Captain

I doubt traveling to Cuba will hurt the other islands. Cruisers may flock there out of curiosity, but the others islands will get their fair share of the business.

glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

The ship is for Canadians.  Legally, Americans can't go on it.  I've checked it out last year.  Thanks everyone for replying.

noname111
Contributor Level: Captain

Just saw something about US/Cuba Embassies that are going to be announced soon.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/30/politics/u-s-cuba-embassy-relationship/

It is only a matter of time.. and I would be surprised if the cruise lines were not already having some activity planning in this area.  Which line goes first will be interesting to see.

Dougillsley
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Cuba still thinks it's system (communist) is the way for the world to go.  As long as they insist that all tours and visits MUST include "cultural" tours so they can tell you for 6 hours at a time how much more wonderful it is to have the Cuban system than the decadent Canadian and US systems, keep your money and go to St. Lucia.  Way more fun and way less propaganda.  

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