Photo: Fotolia
Photo: Fotolia

New Restrictions on Travel to Cuba

The Trump administration recently imposed regulations that require Americans who visit Cuba to do so through guided tours provided by authorized companies. In addition, the rules prohibit U.S. citizens from staying at 83 hotels on the island that are owned by foreign governments.

“Americans can still travel to Cuba under the popular people-to-people category, provided they do so with an authorized company,” says Tom Popper, president of insightCuba. “Travelers can stay in many hotels across the island, and you can still bring rum and cigars home for personal consumption.”

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However, “the new regulations make it much more difficult for individuals, because now they must go with a company,” says Chad Olin, CEO of Cuba Candela, which specializes in “personally curated” trips to the island. “This policy makes no sense, as 81 percent of Americans support travel to Cuba [according to a 2015 CBS News poll].”

No special restrictions apply to visitors traveling by private jet, just the rules that affect all travelers. At present, PlaneSense, ExcelAire, Wheels Up, JetSuite, IBC Airways and others operate charter flights to Cuba. “Restrictions regarding which hotels you can stay at will make it much less attractive to travel to the island,” says IBC’s John Hennig. “I am certain it will affect our charters.”    

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