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Issue: January February 2015
Caribbean Hotel & Association Welcomes News About Cuba Travel Restrictions To Be Eased For Americans



The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), representing 32 National Hotel Associations across the region, welcomes the news that the U.S. will soon be easing travel restrictions on Americans visiting Cuba that have been in place for 54 years.

"The freedom to travel is a mantra carried by all of us in the travel and hospitality industry and is seen as a path to better understanding and peace between nations," said Jeffrey S. Vasser, CHA, CEO and Director General of CHTA.

Cuba has long been a major destination in the Caribbean for Europeans and Canadians and in the past its local hotel association had been an active member in CHTA.

"Over the years there has been much discussion about what the impact will be if and when Cuba is open to U.S. visitors," noted Emil Lee, president of CHTA.  "CHTA recognizes that there will be challenges for some of our members in competing with Cuba, which basically becomes a new-found destination for American vacationers," Lee said.

"However, we also see another side with the addition of Cuba as an overall benefit to the regional promotion of the Caribbean which would create more awareness for all our member nations and hotels," Lee added.

"There will be no shortage of predictions and expectations over the next few months following this historic announcement about easing travel restrictions to Cuba for Americans," noted Vasser. "Our role is to embrace all our hotels and allied membership in promoting the welfare of the region," Vasser said, adding: "Cuba is part of the Caribbean and we expect to assist in the transition to both maximize the benefits and minimize and adverse impact on our membership."
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