Additional Cuba Travel Sanctions Dampen Tourism Interest
The Trump Administration added 26 new names to a blacklist of Cuban tourist attractions that Americans no longer are allowed to visit.
The sanctions are designed to direct "economic activity away from the Cuban military," according to a statement by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last November. All 26 of the newly banned tourist attractions are owned by Cuba’s military business conglomerate, GAESA, ranging from the new five-star Iberostar Grand Packard and Paseo del Prado hotels in Old Havana, to small beachfront shopping centers far away from the island nation's capital.
American travelers are still allowed to visit Cuba, and the Associated Press reports that "hundreds of US commercial flights and cruise ships deliver hundreds of thousands of Americans to the island each year." However, the AP also notes that the increasing number of sanctions over the past year, among other factors, seems to have tanked American interest in touring Cuba. Despite the US easing up on its Cuba travel advisory, tourist numbers dropped dramatically this year, and a number of airlines have scrapped or diminished the number of routes between the US and Cuba to match the downward trend.