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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Why Canadians Should Travel to Cuba Right Now

Cuba is a favourite holiday spot for Canadians, especially during the harsh winter months. As it gets colder, Canadians flock to tropical destinations, particularly islands in the Caribbean. Cuba offers beautiful beaches and fun in the sun, typically at a cheaper price than other sun destinations. However, with travel restrictions easing for Americans, more and more people are booking holidays in Cuba. With the rise in demand for hotels and resort vacations in Cuba, the prices are only bound to go up. Will the increase of Americans traveling to Cuba mark the end of cheap travel to Cuba for Canadians? Right now may be the best time to book your trip.

Startling Statistics

In the first five months of 2015, Cuba has experienced a stark increase in travel by comparison to the same months in 2014.

    14% increase in arrivals to Cuba from around the world
    15% increase in overall tourism
    14% increase in arrivals from Canada
    57% increase in Americans traveling to Cuba via third countries (such as Canada) in order to bypass USA tourism restrictions

What This Means for Canadians

After the Dominican Republic, Cuba is the second most visited island in the Caribbean. Any kind of price increase will greatly impact travel for Canadians to this tropical destination. Allison Wallace, Director of Communications for Flight Centre Canada states, “Canadians can expect Cuba travel costs to increase 20-25%”.

Why will there be such drastic price changes for Canadians? First, US-Cuba relations have been warming up and it is expected that Americans will be completely free to travel to Cuba by the end of 2015. There are only so many places to stay and with an increased demand comes increased prices. JetBlue is now flying direct from US destinations to Cuba, and many people will take advantage of the cheaper airfare rates on this discount airline. Furthermore, Airbnb is not an option for Canadians. By law in Cuba, they can only rent to US citizens, making hotel rooms even more in demand for those with a Canadian passport

The Canadian dollar has lost a lot of value over recent times, meaning that it is more expensive to travel everywhere. An improved US-Cuba relationship means that Cubans may start to use the US dollar, making travel there even more expensive for Canadians.

The Cuba tourism sector is currently renegotiating its hotel room prices, airport landing fees with airlines, and the potential for cruise ships to sail to Cuba. The island will be busier with day trippers coming from cruise ships. Popular American hotel chains are likely to be constructed, making Cuba a more bustling travel destination with more people visiting overall.

The resorts are also busier with Cuban citizens traveling throughout their own country for a vacation. Since 2008, Cubans have been granted permission to visit their own resorts; previously, only foreigners were allowed to stay there. Now, Cubans are only second to Canadians at resorts, with an increase of Cuban tourists up 23% from 2014.


On the Bright Side…

Though travel prices will most likely be going up, there are some positive aspects of Cuba accepting more tourists. The quality of resorts could improve with more money flowing into the country. There could be more luxurious hotel rooms, increased amenities, and better choice of food at resort restaurants. There may no longer be the issue of finding WiFi in Cuba, which would be great for travel bloggers like myself! More importantly, this will hopefully provide a better quality of life for Cubans with more tourism dollars entering the country, especially with opportunities for small businesses to flourish.



Tours Discovery said...

While I’m not Canadian, Cuba is on my list! Especially after this post!!

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