LOOK INTO THE FUTURE - HOW WILL CUBA CHANGE DUE TO THE APPROACH from THE USA? WHAT CHANGES CAN ALREADY BE OBSERVED?
A historic step was taken in December 2014 when then US President Barack Obama lifted the ban on ties with Cuba and said these words: "Today the United States of America is changing its relations with the Cuban people." This change has also brought about some drastic and unforseeable alterations in Cuban tourism.
Since travel restrictions on US citizens have been uplifted, and more and more group visits have been allowed there has been a significant increase of US tourism.
There is also a rush of tourists from Europe, who want to experience Cuba's authentic socialist charm and unique revolutionary atmosphere first hand before mass tourism will probably expel the spirits of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
In 2015, 3.5 million tourists including 175 000 Germans were visiting Cuba. An increase of 26 % in tourism has been registered and may as well increase in the coming years. According to a survey of a Cuba travel portal Cuba was the preferred destination for German tourists in 2015.
German tour operators especially registered a sudden increase in requests for Cuba Tour. Guests want to get to know the socialist authentic flair of the island and at the same time enjoy the opportunity to combine city holidays with beach extension. The capital Havana is famous for its impressive colonial buildings and the white sandy beaches of northern and eastern Cuba attract visitors who are also looking for recreation.
Since Cuba has been secluded from the rest of the world for such a long time, touristic infrastructure has not developed. Prices of hotels, transportation, excursions and entrance fees have increased considerably, whereas the quality of service doesn't always live up to its expectations.
The beautiful side of Cuba is the hospitality of Cuban locals, towards tourists. Recently many more Cubans have been finding jobs in tourism or they are renting rooms, the so-called ''Casas Particulares'' which are simple, well-kept accommodations. By choosing a "Casa Particular," tourists come into direct contact with Cubans and their culture and avoid spending a lot of money on hotels.
An advantage of more touristic infrastructure is more access to the internet for locals. On public places in all cities Cubans can now serve in the World Wide Web for little money. A further advantage for travellers is the low environmental pollution. Guests enjoy pristine and white sandy beaches in Varadero with only a few tourists in low season.
- Loosened travel restrictions
- 2015: 3,5 million tourists
- Increase of 26 % im comparison to last year
- Authentic socialist flair
- Vacation on the beach and in the city at the same time
- Magnificent colonial buildings
- Experience of Che Guevara's spirit
No reason to worry!
According to Manuel Morales, the Head of Destination Caribbean Group FTI there is no reason to worry that the authentic Cuba will be lost in the future: "The Cubans are aware of the charms of their country... there is no need to fear that Cubans desire complete Americanization."
We'll see ...