Senate Introduces Bill To Lift Cuba Travel Restrictions

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Senate Introduces Bill To Lift Cuba Travel Restrictions

Havana (La Habana), Cuba. Photo: Jorge Royan.


The movement toward freeing up travel to Cuba gained momentum this week as Senate members introduced a bill that would remove the remaining travel restrictions to the country.

The bill, called the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, was originally introduced in 2015 by eight co-sponsors but never moved to the Senate floor for discussion or a vote.

Then in 2016, the Obama Administration eased trade restrictions and allowed travel to Cuba for a limited variety of travel, including family visits, educational and humanitarian activities, official U.S. government business and professional research.

President Trump has hinted at reversing these measures, leading many politicians and travel industry officials who support open travel to Cuba to grow concerned. Currently, the Trump administration has only said that Cuba travel restrictions were "under review."

The bill would need the support of five more senators to advance, but faces fierce opposition from anti-Castro Cuban-American lawmakers such as Sens. Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez.

In a statement, Sen. Flake said that “Recognizing the inherent right of Americans to travel to Cuba isn’t a concession to dictators, it is an expression of freedom. It is Americans who are penalized by our travel ban, not the Cuban government.”

“Lifting the ban on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba can pave the way to meaningful change by increasing contact between Cubans and everyday Americans, and it is certain to have positive benefits for the island’s burgeoning entrepreneurial and private sector.”

A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives January 1, 2017, by Rep. Mark Sanford reads “the President may not prohibit or otherwise regulate, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents.”

The House bill also states that “any regulation in effect on such date of enactment that prohibits or otherwise regulates travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents, or any of the transactions incident to such travel, including banking transactions, shall cease to have any force or effect.”

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

“Millennials have a different mindset than other demographics. It’s important that travel agents get into the conversation and promote the value they bring to the travel experience.” - Dan Durazo, Allianz Global Assistance

Daily Top List

Places to Visit Ahead of ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

1. Whippendell Woods, UK - Naboo Forest in “The Phantom Menace”

2. Villa del Balbianello, Lenno, Italy - Naboo Lake Retreat in “Attack of the Clones”

3. Mount Etna, Italy - Mustafar in “Revenge of the Sith”

4. Death Valley National Park, California - Tatooine in “A New Hope”

5. Finse, Norway - Hoth in “The Empire Strikes Back”

Source: TMR

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
G Adventures New Family Tours Target the Gap in the Family Market
G Adventures New Family Tours Target the Gap in the Family Market

The brand set out to make the tours affordable and accessible, and to take family members of all ages to iconic destinations together.

The Unstoppable Trend: Solo Travel Growing and Going Just About Anywhere
The Unstoppable Trend: Solo Travel Growing and Going Just About Anywhere

Many suppliers are reducing or eliminating solo travel supplements, prompting even more solo travelers to book trips.

National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures Open for Booking
National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures Open for Booking

The trips are all led by two specially trained Chief Experience Officers who are trained to cater the trips to both the interest of the adults and the children.

Adventures by Disney Reveals Lineup of 2020 Itineraries
Adventures by Disney Reveals Lineup of 2020 Itineraries

Among the offerings is a 10-day trip to Egypt, including a new three-part tour and experiences tailored specifically for adults.

Journese Launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ with Commission Protection
Journese Launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ with Commission Protection

Good news for travel advisors, the plan features 100% commission protection and a simplified cancellation process.

Tour Operators Predict Rapid Recovery After Notre Dame Fire
Tour Operators Predict Rapid Recovery After Notre Dame Fire

Unable to say for sure, most tour operators suspect the enthusiasm for France may actually be heightened over the tragedy.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks