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NTA Supports Easing Travel Restrictions to Cuba

April 14, 2009 By: George Dooley

The National Tour Association (NTA) applauded the Obama administration for yesterday’s decision to lift the ban on Cuban Americans traveling to Cuba, allowing Cuban Americans to travel freely between the two countries for the first time since 1982. NTA said it will continue to support the freedom for all Americans to travel to Cuba by supporting related legislation currently in Congress.

“NTA commends President Obama and his team for lifting restrictions on Cuban Americans wishing to visit their families in Cuba,” said NTA President Lisa Simon, “While this is certainly a step in the right direction, NTA will continue to support the right of all Americans to travel to Cuba. Lifting the travel ban to Cuba is long overdue and we look forward to the time when all restrictions are lifted.”

Earlier this month, NTA announced its support of The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, H.R. 874 and S. 428. The legislation is sponsored by Senators Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, and Michael Enzi, R-Wyoming, along with co-sponsors Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut, and Senator Richard Lugar, R-Indiana. Representatives Bill Delahunt, D-Massachusetts, and Jeff Flake, R-Arizona also are House co-sponsors, in addition to Representative Sam Farr, D-California, co-chair of the House Tourism Caucus and the more than 100 other sponsors.

The NTA also cited a new poll by CNN showing that two-thirds of Americans surveyed think the U.S. should lift the travel ban, and three-quarters think the U.S. should end its estrangement with the country. “NTA enthusiastically agrees with the findings of this poll and will continue to fight for the freedom to travel by supporting the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act Team and reaching out to Congress. Re-examination of travel restrictions is part of the association’s advocacy priorities and was included as part of the seven recommendations submitted to President Obama and leaders of Congress as result of a December 2008 summit of travel and tourism organizations.”


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