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Market Watch: Cuba on the Rise

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Market Watch: Cuba on the Rise  

By Tomas Acevedo, ARDA State Affairs

Cuba Cup 

It’s been more than a year since the Obama administration announced new rules easing trade and travel restrictions against Cuba, as part of the move toward normalizing relations with the country. Since that time, Americans have been able to travel to the island, provided the trip serves a religious, educational, humanitarian, journalistic, or other approved purpose. In fact, U.S. airlines are now allowed to fly scheduled routes to Cuba for the first time in decades, yet Americans still can’t travel to Cuba purely for travel’s sake.

It’s clear that Americans want to visit Cuba now—with its still frozen-in-time culture—before it loses its old-world charm. According to the travelhorizons survey released by marketing services firm MMGY Global, 46 percent
of travelers from the United States who
are likely to visit a Caribbean destination during the next two years would be willing to change their vacation plans to go to Cuba instead. And 19 percent of U.S. adults said they would consider taking a vacation to Cuba during the next two years.

Further, the American Society of Travel Agents estimates that more than 500,000 American cruise travelers would visit Cuba within the first two years—with another one million leisure travelers coming by air. Cuba is ready for business to increase in their travel and tourism space, where they see a lot of opportunity for growth. 

And with all the buzz around this island, it’s only a matter of time before we’re talking timeshare there, too.  Cuba doesn’t currently have timeshare legislation in the country, but with Meliá Vacation Club selling a travel club-type product in the country, it demonstrates they’re open to this new form of business in the travel sector. It’ll likely still take some years—and fully lifted sanctions—before the timeshare sector starts to build a footprint in Cuba, but for those with interest in the area, now is probably a good time to start registering company trademarks and logos, to be at the ready when the time comes. To learn more about the potential of timeshares in Cuba, read the full article in the February Developments.