Thursday, February 20, 2020

New Trump rules on Cuba travel leaves winners and losers

By on June 27, 2017

In this March 22, 2013 file photo, miniature flags representing Cuba and the U.S. are displayed on the dash of a classic American car in Havana, Cuba. (Franklin Reyes, File/AP)

By Andrea Rodríguez and Beth J. Harpaz

President Donald Trump’s new policy on travel to Cuba has winners and losers: Group tour operators could sell more trips, but bed-and-breakfast owners in Cuba say they’re losing business.

Lodging owners say they started getting cancellations after Trump’s June 16 announcement. Tony López, who rents out an apartment in Havana’s trendy Vedado neighborhood, says the new policy is hurting Cuban entrepreneurs.

Under the new rules, only licensed tour operators can take Americans to Cuba on people-to-people trips. So some Americans who planned to go on their own are canceling trips.

On the other hand, organized tour groups are now the only game in town for people-to-people trips. One expert says tour companies should be “opening Champagne” because the new rules could increase their business.

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