Cuban Travel Ban

SantiagoDR

Forever a Clown
Jan 12, 2006
5,453
600
113
Tim, wrong link.....

AE
Sorry, fixed. Call me TJ, I'm not sure who Tim is :)
Must be an "AlterEgo" thing!;) lol


SantiagoDR
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
20,345
1,735
113
South Coast
Sorry, fixed. Call me TJ, I'm not sure who Tim is :)

Good story, I'd like to go there one of these days.

Don't ask me where I got Tim from, a senior moment? I have a grandson named TJ, he's a bit younger than you though :squareeye

AE
 

PICHARDO

One Dominican at a time, please!
May 15, 2003
12,910
627
113
Santiago de Los 30 Caballeros
A report on CNN that Congress is considering lifting the travel ban for Americans to Cuba.

Will be interesting to see what the repercussions might be:
CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News


For the DR? None!

For PR/MEX/BAH/JAM/VI? A lot!

Cuba needs five decades of infrastructure upgrades, before it can even begin to become a problem/competitor to the DR's flourishing tourism industry.

While for Americans Cuba will be a cheaper travel spot 90 miles off Miami, rather than a trek over sea to little PR. Jamaica's tourism industry is stagnant for the past decade, as the need to bring island-wide attractions has proven impossible so far there. Bahamas can't offer anything more than it has already, there's no more room/place to exploit. Virgin Islands are just that, a few spots of sand in the sea, nothing that's remarkably different than the FL keys... Mexico's drug wars have all but made it the least enticing place to find peace, unless it involves ducking and diving under tables.

Each place owns a particular positive tourist's magnet; they will continue to pull good number each year. But again, nothing great the DR hasn't been able to overcome during the past decade without even honestly trying.

As far a Cuba is concerned? Great living museum and post prohibition spot to check for US tourists, but nothing more than that awaits the AI and comfort seeking US client. Just dropping the travel ban will not mean that Cuba's system of repression and control around the whole country; will be dropped as well by the party in charge there.

Cuba's once renowned beaches and tourist attractions are eroded, in need of complete upgrades and the lack of support infrastructure is impossible to avoid looking at.

Give Cuba the next four to five decades and it will become competition of sorts to the DR. But I must remind you that the DR is slowly becoming a Ritzy place for high end clients. Reason why old low cost vacationing spots like POP look so deserted today, void of past glories as the spot to be at.
Take away cabarete and you're pretty much left with little in offerings there now. Not so with the East coast...
 

CFA123

Silver
May 29, 2004
3,498
381
83
Actually... I can imagine some panic in the Cuban government if they were faced with an influx of opinionated US visitors. I suspect there'd be a faction in Cuba proposing they institute a ban of their own ;)

I've not been to Cuba, as I'm a US citizen... but I imagine I'd go soon after a travel ban was lifted just out of curiosity.
 

Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
20,575
329
83
dr1.com
Europeans and Canadians have been going to Cuba for years.
The ones I have spoken to that have been to both the DR and Cuba, enjoyed both.

From an independent travel and organisation perspective, I think you'll find Cuba is a big leap ahead of the DR. That's what I have been told by those that have experience in both markets. Read a recent report by TJMurray on the board, he pretty much says the same thing.

I have said it here and I'll say it again. The DR toursim market lacks any long term planning. I have lost count the amount of branding plans paid for and never implemented or other projects that just never happened. It's a very individualistic market that has yet to find a coherent voice, or at least a voice that is coherent across sectors.

PICHARDO, feel free to spin or post "facts" about DR tourism and it's future.
It's something I have a vested interest in and would enjoy the debate :)
 

CFA123

Silver
May 29, 2004
3,498
381
83
I have a friend from Germany that's been travelling to DR north coast for 10 weeks a year for many years. Within the last year, she booked a trip to Cuba to avoid being here during Semana Santa. Although she's here now, she's booked additional trips to Cuba. I have the feeling it's only friends bringing her back here at this point. She's very well travelled & thoroughly enjoyed her time there.
 

drloca

Silver
Oct 26, 2004
2,097
204
63
I for one wouldnt return to Cuba for all the money in the world!

...Although I must say, Havana is a beautiful city with an interesting history.
 

Ken

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
13,661
283
83
For the DR? None!

For PR/MEX/BAH/JAM/VI? A lot!

Cuba needs five decades of infrastructure upgrades, before it can even begin to become a problem/competitor to the DR's flourishing tourism industry.

While for Americans Cuba will be a cheaper travel spot 90 miles off Miami, rather than a trek over sea to little PR. Jamaica's tourism industry is stagnant for the past decade, as the need to bring island-wide attractions has proven impossible so far there. Bahamas can't offer anything more than it has already, there's no more room/place to exploit. Virgin Islands are just that, a few spots of sand in the sea, nothing that's remarkably different than the FL keys... Mexico's drug wars have all but made it the least enticing place to find peace, unless it involves ducking and diving under tables.

Each place owns a particular positive tourist's magnet; they will continue to pull good number each year. But again, nothing great the DR hasn't been able to overcome during the past decade without even honestly trying.

As far a Cuba is concerned? Great living museum and post prohibition spot to check for US tourists, but nothing more than that awaits the AI and comfort seeking US client. Just dropping the travel ban will not mean that Cuba's system of repression and control around the whole country; will be dropped as well by the party in charge there.

Cuba's once renowned beaches and tourist attractions are eroded, in need of complete upgrades and the lack of support infrastructure is impossible to avoid looking at.

Give Cuba the next four to five decades and it will become competition of sorts to the DR. But I must remind you that the DR is slowly becoming a Ritzy place for high end clients. Reason why old low cost vacationing spots like POP look so deserted today, void of past glories as the spot to be at.
Take away cabarete and you're pretty much left with little in offerings there now. Not so with the East coast...

I agree. Cuba is not ready for an influx of American tourists. Whether it takes 10 years to become a major tourist destination for Americans I don't know, but it is a long way from being ready for Americans today. The fact that Europeans go there in increasing numbers means little as far as the American market is concerned. Europeans have different expectations than many Americans do for tourist facilities.

But the Cubans are dreaming of the day when the Americans start pouring into Cuba. When I was there a year ago nearly everyone I met wanted to know if Obama was going to lift the ban on American travel to Cuba and there was a piece in the party news sheet that is distributed there written by Fidel Castro talking about his hopes and expectations of change now that Obama was in the White House.

Cubans are more sophisticated and better educated, as a group, than Dominicans. Meeting people on the street who speak English, good English, is much more common there, also. At least that was my experience in Havana.

In the hotel where I stayed, the bell hops and others were very well educated. Graduated from college with degrees in various professions. But at present time in Cuba, they can earn more working in the hotels serving foreign tourists than they can in their profession. I was told it was the same in many other hotels.
 
Last edited:
Jan 9, 2004
9,453
722
113
Four to Five decades...

For the DR? None!

For PR/MEX/BAH/JAM/VI? A lot!

Cuba needs five decades of infrastructure upgrades, before it can even begin to become a problem/competitor to the DR's flourishing tourism industry.

While for Americans Cuba will be a cheaper travel spot 90 miles off Miami, rather than a trek over sea to little PR. Jamaica's tourism industry is stagnant for the past decade, as the need to bring island-wide attractions has proven impossible so far there. Bahamas can't offer anything more than it has already, there's no more room/place to exploit. Virgin Islands are just that, a few spots of sand in the sea, nothing that's remarkably different than the FL keys... Mexico's drug wars have all but made it the least enticing place to find peace, unless it involves ducking and diving under tables.

Each place owns a particular positive tourist's magnet; they will continue to pull good number each year. But again, nothing great the DR hasn't been able to overcome during the past decade without even honestly trying.

As far a Cuba is concerned? Great living museum and post prohibition spot to check for US tourists, but nothing more than that awaits the AI and comfort seeking US client. Just dropping the travel ban will not mean that Cuba's system of repression and control around the whole country; will be dropped as well by the party in charge there.

Cuba's once renowned beaches and tourist attractions are eroded, in need of complete upgrades and the lack of support infrastructure is impossible to avoid looking at.

Give Cuba the next four to five decades and it will become competition of sorts to the DR. But I must remind you that the DR is slowly becoming a Ritzy place for high end clients. Reason why old low cost vacationing spots like POP look so deserted today, void of past glories as the spot to be at.
Take away cabarete and you're pretty much left with little in offerings there now. Not so with the East coast...


to become "competition of sorts."

Cuba, according to the latest caribbean tourism statistics saw 2.4 million tourists in 2009. That makes them strong competition already.

By comparison, the Dominican Republic had appproximately 4 million tourists, roughly the same number as visited Cancun and Cozumel on Mexico's caribbean cost.

Given those statistics, and knowing that Cuba's numbers are mostly devoid of American tourists, and the DR's are heavily influenced by the American market, the DR had better become proactive, sooner rather than later.

With close proximity to the US and the pent up US interest in visiting the forbidden island, Cuba will easily overtake the DR as the number one tourist destination in the Caribbean and it will not take four to five decades, but more like four to five years.

However, the biggest selling point for mass market tourism to Cuba by travel agents and tour operators will be the comparison of costs.....and we all know that taxes add about $200 to every flight into the DR, which is I believe, the highest in the Caribbean.

The clock is ticking and the time is now for the DR to prepare for that eventuality.....but the answer will not be, as you suggest, in high end tourism on the east coast. Other than Cap Cana and the Punta Cana Resort, the haphazard, poorly planned/never planned layout and poor infrastructure of the east coast will keep that from happening for some time to come.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
 

el forastero

Bronze
Oct 25, 2009
353
90
0
I have Canadian friends who have told me that unlike Santo Domingo, they could go anywhere in Havana at any time night or day, with no need to look over their shoulders or worry about becoming a crime victim. That in itself is an important consideration to American tourists.

Not everyone wants to go to a beach somewhere, in many cases just somewhere warm. Havana's and Santiago de Cuba's history nearly equals Santo Domingo's. Cuba may not yet be ready for many American families with kids, but they are for ready for those singles, couples and retired folks who have no desire to stay inside the walls of an AI that could be anywhere in the world. For retired people with any medical concerns, Havana's medical system is decades ahead of the DR's, and their doctors are well- trained.

Perhaps the DR would better their chances by cleaning up the police and military to truly improve public safety for everyone (not just tourists), before "investing" in things like destroying national reserves in the East or the South thinking that if they build even more stuff, people will come.
 

bayaguanaman

New member
Oct 22, 2009
266
12
0
After many many years of being in the Bahamas, IMHO, this is very likely to strike a severe blow to the tourism industry in the Bahamas. Atlantis has major sections closed down, Cable Beach has been waiting 6 years to get the facelift on the hotels there (every few months more news is released of the funding now in place from Chinese Banks), Freeport is breathing it's last breaths as a viable resort, (THe GBPA who control the City of Freeport has owners currently involved in a who owns what scenario since the passing of one of the shareholders).

The major investment from the Hutchison Group out of Hong Kong which rebuilt the Lucaya Hotel strip are unlikely to go further while this period of local unstability is evident, indeed they may be there for the deepwater container port (now operating 30% throughput following a major collapse of one of the Quay side cranes some months ago). All in all, the scenario in all the Islands is not good, not good for the tourist and especially not good for the Bahamians.

There are not many locations in the world where you hear a Four Seasons closing down operations (after only a few years in a new facility), but it did in Exuma. The warning signs have been there for many years, now I feel it may well come to fruition.

The DR need to take note, at the end of the day, regardless of how much is spent on advertising, the best sales pitch is a plane load of passengers returning home full of admiration and praise, spreading the word of the value experienced in the resorts and other related areas, which will mean occupancy rates etc jigh, local produce being consumed and employment.
 

Kyle

Silver
Jun 2, 2006
4,266
161
0
the travel ban will only apply to some americans. others like myself who work for the feds will still have a travel ban to cuba as well as many more countries around the world. every time i leave the US i must let the government know where i am going, where i am staying and when i will return. i envy those normal americans who can travel without restrictions.
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
28,749
2,280
113
dr1.com
I have Canadian friends who have told me that unlike Santo Domingo, they could go anywhere in Havana at any time night or day, with no need to look over their shoulders or worry about becoming a crime victim. That in itself is an important consideration to American tourists.

For retired people with any medical concerns, Havana's medical system is decades ahead of the DR's, and their doctors are well- trained.

Perhaps the DR would better their chances by cleaning up the police and military to truly improve public safety for everyone (not just tourists), before "investing" in things like destroying national reserves in the East or the South thinking that if they build even more stuff, people will come.
There are large areas of Havana, and other Cuban cities that are dangerous at night. My sister in law is from Baracoa (south end of Cuba) and even in that little city there are dangerous elements, including illegal drugs. Yes the police are better in Cuba, but then again they should be. It's a police state and there are literally thousands of them. Cuban doctors are well trained but the reality of their medical system is that it is three tiered, one system for medical Tourists, one for the party members and elite, and one very bad system for the average Cuban. Coruption within the government is a huge problem in Cuba, within the education system with bribes to pass tests being common, and forced sexual favours from students. There are a huge number of prisons in Cuba and they are not all filled with political prisoners, and anti-social types so I suggest there is also a large crimminal element also. Stealing electricity is also common. There are some wonderful things about Cuba, but don't wear your rose coloured glasses; there are enormous problems.
 

pyratt

Bronze
Jan 14, 2007
690
100
0
the travel ban will only apply to some americans. others like myself who work for the feds will still have a travel ban to cuba as well as many more countries around the world. every time i leave the US i must let the government know where i am going, where i am staying and when i will return. i envy those normal americans who can travel without restrictions.
It's the price one must pay for the "fed-with-benefits-job bro...at least you get to go places and tell them your info....I can't go unless I'm told to go~and "the feds" make all the arrangements to/from and housing...my last in-flight meal was Captian's Country Chicken (CCC) from tan bag.

Besides, who wants to drop money in a country where the dictator is taking 40% of the remittances sent via WU...until he (and the regieme dies), I ain't going....
 

pelaut

Bronze
Aug 5, 2007
1,089
33
48
www.ThornlessPath.com
PICHARDO: You're absolutely right.

I was in Cuba during Batista, and several times in the last 12 years.
Andr?s Brugal (before he passed) told me, "It took them 38 years to reach this low point, it will take half again to bring it back — if they work hard at it." And then it more likely shall look like the Tropicana 'paradise' with new vedrsions of Traficante and Giancana. Especially with the Chicago mob now in charge up north.

NB: every Brit, Canadian, etc. I've heard praise Cuba as a "fun" or "enjoyable" place to visit (rather than "interesting") was putting me on for the sake of sticking it to an American, or just showing their liberal flags. But by all means, GO. It certainly is, well, interesting.

NB2: And if you want medical care? I've tried it there, and I've used DR docs and labs for 30 years. Don't do it in Cuba unless you're the top dog of a banana republic or a movie star. Regular folks get zip, regular foreigners next to zip. DR docs, labs and clinics beat the U.S. as well. Unless, of course you're Donald Trump.
 
Last edited: