Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump in June ordered tighter restrictions on travel to the Caribbean island. Then the U.S. State Department warned on Friday against going there after a spate of alleged attacks on its diplomats in Havana, stating until the cause was determined, it could not guarantee Americans’ safety.“Just as the re-establishment of Cuba-U.S. relations was a positive influence, now this will be very negative,” said Jose Enrique Montoto, who rents an apartment, often to American guests, through the online marketplace Airbnb. “They are creating a mood of insecurity for those who want to travel to Cuba.”
Montoto, 57, said three U.S. citizens who were set to arrive in Havana on Saturday had canceled their reservation with him at the last minute without an explanation. He worried that more would do the same.According to Cuban government statistics, that would place local revenues from Americans’ sojourns at about $300 million.Cuba has long catered largely to Canadian and European tourists, and some local business owners said recent events under Trump were a harsh reminder not to rely too much on one market.A dip in tourism this year would be a further blow to Cuba’s economy, which already is struggling with a drop in cheap oil shipments from key ally Venezuela, lower exports and a cash crunch.
Trump has said he wants to eliminate one of the most popular exemptions to the U.S. travel ban on Cuba, the self-directed “people-to-people” category. Confusion remains about what will be allowed.“Cuba certainly has been an emerging destination,” she said on Saturday at a Havana conference organized by the Responsible and Ethical Cuba Travel association (RESPECT), a U.S. group of more than 150 businesses and non-profits bringing Americans to the island.
U.S. tour operators said the alleged attacks had not affected any U.S. tourists and that Cuba remained one of the safest destinations possible.“Our conclusion was this seems to be a political statement, not a warning because they are worried about peoples’ health,” said RESPECT Co-Coordinator Bob Guild.