Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
According to an article at the New York Daily News (and my own, first hand knowledge), the volume of Americans going to Cuba has increased sharply in 2012.
Bob Guild of Marazul Charters says “We’re jammed up. Since November, we’ve probably quadrupled the number of people we’re sending”.
Thanks to an increase in “People-to-People” licenses, American travelers are allowed to go on Cuba trips without prior U.S. government approval as long as they go with approved trip providers, many of which specialize in certain niches, attractions or destinations.
Americans who represent religious organizations wishing to travel to Cuba only need to carry a letter from the organization’s leaders outlining their plans.
Batia Plotch, president of Global Gallop, a New York-based travel company with a “People-to-People” license, specializes in visits that offer a chance to get to know Cuba’s 1,500-strong Jewish community.
Several other People-to-People licensees are based in New York. In Washington D.C., the National Geographic Expeditions has 10 scheduled trips through the end of May — and all are sold out.
OFAC licensed People-to-People trips are not cheap but they are selling out anyway due to 50 years of pent up demand. Cuba trips range from $2,000 to $6,000 and most do not include airfare which can range from $400 to $600 round trip just from Miami.
Havana Journal sister site CubaTrips.org is compiling a Cuba Trips Calendar featuring a list of almost 400 legal trips to Cuba from 45 different Cuba trip providers and we are told that a large number of Cuba trips are sold out. We are also hearing that hotel rooms and casa particular rooms are getting harder to find due to the large numbers of Americans now traveling to Cuba. The Cuba Trips Calendar ebook is expected to be released Monday March 12, 2012.
——————————Havana Journal Comments——————————
We support the right to travel to Cuba for all Americans, not just Cuban Americans who can now travel freely to and from Cuba. Dare I say this is reverse discrimination? Why can some Americans travel to Cuba without restriction while most Americans have to travel with a license or travel with a host?