U.S. Travel Policy Changes
UPDATE AS OF JUNE 6, 2019
Cultural Explorations Cuba remains an authorized provider to organize trips to Cuba through a sanctioned OFAC license. Since its inception in 2013, Cultural Explorations Cuba has guided over 3,500+ travelers from the United States and around the world to the island country.
The latest set of ordinances, effective as of Wednesday, June 5th, state that the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R part 15 (CACR). This will essentially cease “people-to-people” travel, a highly popular classification under the 12 original categories of approved travel for Americans. For many, this affects a great deal of professionals in the leisure travel business, such as big name cruise lines.
While we are challenged with this uncertainty, Cultural Explorations Cuba still operates under the following provisions including Professional Research, Educational Travel, Religious Activities, Humanitarian Projects, and Activities of Private Foundations. Our team of bilingual professionals are able to organize full-scheduled itineraries in line with the necessary requirements to visit the island on an educational and cultural level. In addition, we have established strong connections with trusted Cuban partners and entities, of whom are well-respected amongst the industry.
Most recently, we escorted a prestigious organization of international medical professionals, specializing in chronic illness of the gastrointestinal tract, to visit Cuba. In short, Cultural Explorations Cuba arranged their four-day annual conference from start to finish at the one-and-only historic Hotel Nacional. The experience not only allowed them to unravel the mystery of this ever-evolving destination, but also bond with the Cuban community and exchange new ideas for preventive cures.
Our motto is to: Explore, Embrace, Engage©. As Cuba’s oldest city and capital observes its 500th birthday this November 2019, we hope to continue the celebrations with our fellow neighbors located only a 45-minute plane ride away from us.
If you are interested in chatting further with the experts or learning more about Cultural Explorations Cuba, please contact our Marketing Manager (Jessica Zell) at 561-243-3073 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ORIGINALLY POSTED APRIL 19, 2019
In light of the recent presidential announcement, we want to emphasize that we are accepting bookings and are permitted to organize U.S. travel to Cuba.
As we remain in contact with our established partners, we will continue to offer our cruise and land packages, while keeping a pulse on the proposed changes to come. Please read below for further information on the latest news regarding travel to Cuba.
On Wednesday, April 17, the current United States administration made an announcement levying new sanctions on Cuba, with measures that may directly impact the travel industry. While these sanctions are not clear yet, nor have they been officially released, we believe it is important to share these developments as it could affect U.S. travelers and their ability to visit the island country.
Based on recent news reports, we anticipate that there will be stricter limitations in place, which may constrain non-family related travel and monetary exchange between the two countries. These changes may be reflected in the 12 approved categories under the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which currently authorize legal travel to Cuba.
Past such instances have still permitted U.S. travelers with approved pre-arrangements to partake in their trips, as long as at least one travel-related transaction (such as a flight reservation or hotel accommodation) has been completed prior to an official announcement. We do not know for certain if this will still be the case, but this has been a previous margin of leeway.
There has also been discussion surrounding Title III (Helms-Burton Act), which may allow former land and large business owners to reclaim territory that has since been seized by the Castro government. This may affect cruise ports and air stations within Cuba, as they could be target locations up for redemption. Again, we do not know for certain how this would impact transportation to Cuba, as people must provide proper documentation of ownership with verification that a foreign company has assets in the United States.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO
“It is interesting to see that the pendulum has swung this far now. Back when we were first guiding travelers to Cuba through our people-to-people exchange programs, we were operating under specific parameters and interested visitors were obligated to book with an OFAC agency like us. Today, people have freely witnessed Cuba booming with new developments, including an increase in hotel rooms, excursion offerings, and more. At this point, it’s important for us to be adaptable and stay engaged.”
–Renee Radabaugh, President & CEO, Cultural Explorations Cuba
Cultural Explorations Cuba is closely monitoring this situation for updates. We will make our travelers and partners aware of any new policies or travel changes. As of this moment, travel to Cuba is still permitted under the 12 approved OFAC categories.
ASK THE EXPERTS
If you have any further questions about this potential policy change, please do not hesitate to contact us at (561) 921-2425 or via email at email@example.com We are accepting media inquiries and can provide quotes accordingly.
For the latest information on travel to Cuba, we encourage you to also review the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) FAQ: Click Here
Our specific people-to-people license has been issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s, Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). Pursuant to section 31 C.F.R. § 515.565(b)(2) of the Cuban Asset Control Regulations, this license allows U.S. Citizens who book a package with Cultural Explorations Cuba the ability to travel to Cuba legally. License # CT-2014-313195-1 FLA Seller of Travel #40002