With the lifting of certain travel restrictions to Cuba, joyful family reunions have been become more common at the airport in Havana.
Earlier this year President Barack Obama eliminated travel restrictions for Cuban Americans who wanted to visit their homeland. During their travels, not only do they get to see their families but they also help Cuba’s tourism industry stay afloat.
Thanks to those that have been flocking to the island nation to see family, tourism in Cuba has not suffered as greatly as tourism for the rest of the Caribbean. And it’s not just Cuba that is reaping the benefits.
A charter airline that connects Miami to Havana with daily flights says business has really been taking off.
“I’d say that traffic will probably double,” said Thomas Cooper, founder of Gulfstream Air.
Once on the island, it seems that everything Cuban Americans do props up the tourism industry. They rent cars, eat out and take their families to beach resorts. While Cuba’s tourism minister, Manuel Marrero, wouldn’t comment on the impact of Cuban Americans visiting the island, he did say the sector is holding up. Marrero pointed out that over the winter it grew two percent and he expects larger increases in the future.
Cuba, however, is still off limits for most Americans.
The travel website Orbitiz.com would like to change that. They’re sponsored a campaign to end all travel restrictions to Cuba. They recently launched a website where those interested can sign a petition which asks President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to end all travel restrictions to Cuba. Those you sign up will receive a $100 coupon toward a vacation in Cuba should the travel ban ever be lifted.