The National Tour Association (NTA) said it strongly supports The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, (H.R. 874 and S. 428), which was announced Tuesday by co-sponsors of the legislation, Senators Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Michael Enzi, R-Wyo. With more than 700 tour company members, many of which offer travel outbound from the U.S., NTA recognizes the importance of this market and the freedom to travel.
“NTA has supported this issue for many years, and we now stand strongly behind the passage of this legislation,” said NTA President Lisa Simon. “Americans should have the opportunity to explore the world unfettered by travel and currency restrictions, and we anticipate a very high demand for tours to Cuba through our tour operator members who see phenomenal curiosity for travel there. With The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, Americans can travel to Cuba to experience the rich diversity of Cuban culture and heritage.”
Re-examination of travel restrictions, which is addressed by The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, was one of the seven recommendations submitted to President Obama and leaders of Congress as the result of the December 2008 summit of travel and tourism organizations, the NTA noted. In the material distributed Tuesday by the Senate sponsors, NTA was cited as a leading travel sector organization member of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Coalition.
The NTA reports that Senators Dorgan and Enzi, along with co-sponsor Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., held a news conference Tuesday announcing the introduction of the legislation. Representatives Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., and Jeff Flake, R-Ari., also are introducing the legislation during a news conference today.
For their leadership with this legislation, Simon said that NTA applauds Senators Dorgan, Enzi, Dodd, and co-sponsoring Senator Richard Lugar, R-Ind.; House co-sponsors Delahunt and Flake, as well as Representative Sam Farr, D-Calif, co-chair of the House Tourism Caucus and the more than 100 other sponsors in the House.
“Once the legislation is passed, success in this new market will depend on helping our tour operators learn about Cuba,” Simon said. “We stand ready to assist them in this new business development.”