Cuba has always been a beautiful enigma to American businesses. A tropical paradise just 90 miles from major American travel hub, Miami, Cuba should be the perfect travel destination for travel brands to profit from. However, over 50 years of political hostilities have conspired to limit American travel to the Caribbean island.
Recently, under the Obama administration, it seems that there has been a cooling of these hostilities, resulting in a small window opening up for American companies to begin doing business in Cuba. Flights are currently offered by Jet Blue from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba and multiple other airlines are approved for direct trips to the island. This allows American tourists and the industry surrounding them to start making progress on the island. Additionally, these tourists are now allowed to bring up to 100 Cuban cigars and a few bottles of rum for personal use back (VICE.) Indeed, it seems the island is finally opening up for Americans to visit and participate in commerce on the island.
However, hotels and other travel companies should be cautious of the sustainability of progress made under the current presidential administration. With promises made to roll back relations with Cuba made on the campaign trail, the next administration enters office with a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the burgeoning American business and travel relations with Cuba.
It would benefit hoteliers and business travel executives to keep abreast of developments as business relations between the United States and Cuba evolve. There is a great deal of money to be made by the travel industry in Cuba; the industry must be aware of changing political situations and be able to adapt to an uncertain political climate to take advantage of this opportunity.
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