Cuba: not as hot for U.S. travelers as hoped


Although the numbers of U.S. travelers to Cuba has continued to rise, setting a new record last year, the numbers haven't spelled the big profits airlines were hoping for, and some are reducing capacity.

American, JetBlue and Silver Airways have all either cut some flights or switched to smaller planes on some routes, although all say they are bullish on the  future. Part of the problem is that when the U.S. and Cuba agreed to resume regular flights, with 110 daily slots, no one had a real idea how much demand there would be.

And the demand may be on hold: U.S. regulations, combined with reports of rising prices and limited facilities, and uncertainty over how the Trump administration will deal with Cuba, have undoubtedly put many travelers off committing to a trip now. U.S. travelers must certify that their travel meets one of 12 categories of permitted travel, none of which is pure tourism.

In the past year, Cuban hotels have been renovating and upgrading, some with participation from U.S. chains...and prices have been rising. The price increases also involve privately-run restaurants, called paladares.

On the other hand, cruise operators appear to be attracting more Cuba business, perhaps because a port call on a cruise allows passengers time ashore without having to deal with hotels.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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