1.7 million American Tourists heading for Cuba in the first year when U.S. restrictions are lifted: US Travel Official

“Americans really want to see Cuba,” said Robert Whitely, president of the U.S. Tour Operators, which together with the National Tour Association also present at the event, handles 75 percent of all package tour business to the Caribbean.

“We predict that at least 850,000 Americans will go to Cuba in the first year,” Whitely said. That does not include an estimated 480,000 Americans who will go to Cuba on Caribbean cruises when U.S. ships are allowed to dock there, and another 480,000 Cuban American visiting family in Cuba each year, a Cuban official said.

… Reuters reports on a recent US-Cuba travel conference in U.S. travel industry gearing up for return to Cuba

Will US travel to Cuba impact Barbados’ cruise ship arrivals?

Barbados has never done the tourist business that many thought possible from the United States. Whatever the reasons for this it seems a fact that Barbados has been unable to capitalize on the huge potential US travel market as some of our Caribbean neighbours have done most successfully. Many folks in Barbados don’t worry about the impact of Americans being able to travel to Cuba because they say we don’t benefit from the American market anyway so what’s to lose?

Maybe the answer to “What’s to lose?” appears in the Reuters quotes above: it might be our cruise ship arrivals that suffer when Cuba opens up for vacationing Americans.

It’s not about to happen tomorrow, but when it comes US tourism to Cuba will be huge and it will impact the entire Caribbean region.

What has the Barbados government planned to counter the threat to our tourism? Our guess: nothing.

Over to you DLP government. What concrete steps have you taken with this event in mind?

We’re all listening…


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cuba

7 responses to “1.7 million American Tourists heading for Cuba in the first year when U.S. restrictions are lifted: US Travel Official

  1. Hants

    In the first few years it will be the cuban americans dominating travel to Cuba.
    Barbados need not worry.

  2. Barbados is a very popular destination for holiday makers from the UK. I think that each country has a unique personality and will appeal to different travellers.

  3. Donald Duck, Esq

    of course we need to worry!! What are we doing to become more competitive in this area. When is town and country planning going to allow skyscrapers for accommodation but not on beach lands!!

  4. BFP

    Hello Barbara!

    I think you’re correct 100%. I bet our readers would be interested in hearing from a UK travel agent like yourself about why your clients choose Barbados over other destinations – and why they sometimes choose other countries over Barbados.

    How about it? If you write a little piece and email it to us at barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com, (or paste it into a comment window on any article) we’ll publish it as a feature with your comments.


    Barbados Free Press

  5. Hants

    BFP since you and your team live in Barbados, can you be charitable to your own country and post some positive things about Barbados?

    Even though I have lived in Canada from about 40 years ago, I still maintain my Bajanethnicity (new word) and leverage it to encourage Canadians to visit.

    A lot of Bajan canadians do the same to help our birthplace.

    You are privilaged to live in Paradise while we up hey cold as expletive.

    I just had a look at mullins beach webcam and the beach pretty and the sea looks enticing. At least I can see it from 5000 miles way.

    Be NISE BFP. Help promote Babados.

  6. barbados where everything is fine

    hants bfp comes like negative a lot of the time but i cant blame them because nobody else cares about the thing they do. integrity rules, confliscts by govt minister etc etc etc. everybody else is “like fine here” while it go to hell. bfp is reality mostly. CBC does news like big exposing then never hear from them again. No resolution nothing fixed. bfp keep hammering the same stories because nothing is fixed. we need bfp to be like they are.

  7. Hants

    @barbados where everything is fine

    I have no problem with BFP focusing on ITAL.

    However the economy is suffering and Barbados depends
    on Tourism so they could at least promote Barbados as
    the great Tourist destination that it is.

    ITAL is vital as I have always said and I had hoped we would have
    kept the “100 day promise” but Bajans have to focus on surviving a recession that could get worse over the next few years.

    Be NISE BFP. remember JFK. Ask what you can do for your country.