Seven months since several islands in the eastern Caribbean were hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, many tourism offerings are back online. Local leaders hope the restoration of tourism infrastructure will pump much-needed dollars into the recovery effort.
Alaska Airlines plans to drop its Los Angeles-Havana route and American Airlines’ last flight from Miami to Cienfuegos will be Jan. 8, 2018. Travel to Cuba through Miami International Airport is still ahead of last year.
Some leaders in the Caribbean say that Cuba’s tourism growth is an opportunity to promote growth for the entire region. Countries in the region, they say, should market and develop tourism opportunities together.
While several U.S. airlines have cut flights to Cuba citing weak demand, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Delta Airlines are bucking the trend and investing in more service to Havana. In the last week, all three have applied for additional daily routes to the Cuban capital.
While travel to Cuba booms, airlines and hotels are managing the challenges of matching Cuba’s limited infrastructure with huge demand. But cruise lines will mostly avoid those difficulties thanks to the nature of their operation, which makes Cuban travel less cumbersome for passengers than other forms of travel. Eight U.S.-based lines will call there this year.
During the course of the cruise on Lindblad’s Panorama II, our schedule changed almost daily from our printed itinerary. Communication about changing procedures is not an attribute of central government in Cuba, a country known for breakdowns in plans and mechanics and disincentives for individual decision-making.