U.S. demand for travel to Cuba is making a comeback after 2017 was affected by hurricanes and travel advisories. Since May, insightCuba reports it is seeing spikes in leads and bookings, while new hotels on the island are about to launch and U.S. airlines are increasing routes.
Bookings on the Rise
Due to the confusion surrounding the U.S. travel regulations last year, group demand was at an all-time low. However, since July, insightCuba has seen a 10-fold increase in group requests which are translating into fully deposited bookings, including an increase in multigenerational families as well as professional organizations.
Travel agent inquiries are also increasing. When comparing June to September 2017 with the same period this year, there is a 40 percent increase in bookings for individuals, groups, and families on tours like the seven-night Classic Cuba, four-night Jazz In Havana, and three-night Varadero + Havana.
The Cuban government has reported an increase and is optimistic of hitting its goal of 5 million visitors in 2018.
More & Better Infrastructure and Flights
At the same time, Cuban hotels are getting ready for more visitors including those from the U.S. Meliá hotels is adding 2,145 new hotel rooms through hotel renovation or construction by the end of 2018 in key spots where Americans visit including Cienfuegos, Camaguey and Varadero. Iberostar is also opening two new luxury properties in Old Havana (The Grand Packard Hotel), and eastern Cuba (Iberostar Holguín), while renovations are also underway for the Hotel Riviera in Havana. More hotels are slated to launch across the island in 2019 and beyond. These new properties will be featured in insightCuba and other operators’ tours.
There are now five U.S. commercial airlines providing nonstop service from the U.S. to Cuba including JetBlue, United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines - with new routes launching in November and beyond.
New Year’s in Cuba
While peak travel season to Cuba is heating up, insightCuba is offering up to $1,000 off per couple on many of its trips over New Year’s. January 1 is the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, the day in 1959 when Fidel Castro and his revolutionary army declared victory over the dictator Fulgencio Batista and began their march to Havana. For many Cubans on the island, it is a day to celebrate being Cuban and Cuba’s sovereignty, as well has bring hope for the year ahead.
New Tours for Music Lovers
Just as traveling to Cuba is making its comeback, insightCuba and record label Putumayo World Music have created a series of musical expeditions mirroring Putumayo’s world music album collection. Tour destinations for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 include Cuba, New Orleans, and Peru. In addition to private meet-and-greets and performances with the artists, Putumayo’s own Jacob Edgar, the person responsible for sourcing the music for more than 200 Putumayo collections, will be accompanying each trip and sharing his insight and relationships with participants.
For more information, visit https://www.insightcuba.com/