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TRAVEL & COMMERCE IN CUBA: What To Know Before You Go

If you’ve been keeping up with the changes in international policy, you’re sure to have heard the buzz surrounding the newly open Cuban borders. During the Obama administration, great strides were taken in the advancement of the eventual disolution of the U.S./Cuba Trade Embargo.

If you’re thinking about a weekend holiday, or of doing business with Cuban business partners, here are a few key things to keep in mind: 

PROS:

NEWLY OPEN MARKET

  • Cuba’s trade market is little-explored by U.S. businesses because of the trade embargo imposed in 1961

OPPORTUNITY

  • Business owners, artisans, and trades people in Cuba have fresh, new ideas and products that your business could use to distribute and share products and services in a new way

UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

  • Since the trade embargo has been lifted, American citizens will for the first time be able to book travel to go to Cuba. Much of the landscape has been unexplored by Americans

TRADE ADVANTAGE

  • The unique nature of products and services sold can give your business a major trade advantage over other businesses selling similar products and services stateside

CONS:

CASH MONEY

  • Credit Cards & Debit Cards are NOT accepted

  • Because they’re not: in order to travel to Cuba, you MUST carry anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 in cold, hard cash

HOTEL STAYS

  • Because of the rarity of travel due to the amount of cash that has to be used in order to navigate, many hotels have extremely limited availability and are often booked for several months which means you’ll want to plan ahead

  • While you can book online with a select number of hotels; the cheapest rate before taxes and fees is about $121

FLIGHTS

  • As with hotel stays, flights can be extremely rare and very costly for travelers to Cuba

  • Airlines that carried passengers to Cuba during the initial stages of the negotiations with Cuba under the Obama administration – like American Airlines – have reportedly cut their daily flights to Cuba by 25% and have switched to smaller jets on select routes. Silver Airways & JetBlue Airways have also decreased flights and frequency.

TRADE EMBARGO

  • While the Obama administration made great strides in establishing small opening in the embargo, the U.S.-Cuba trade embargo is still very much in place

  • While doing business with partners in Cuba is not impossible, the regulations for those doing business in Cuba can be heavy and costly

Still want to travel to Cuba? 


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