As diplomatic relations ease between the United States and Cuba, many more Americans are considering trips to visit our island neighbor to the south. This presents a golden, but time-critical, business opportunity to EMB clients with travel merchant accounts. As the travel path to Havana becomes easier to navigate, there will be tourists lining up to visit the Caribbean hub.
The truth is, despite the embargo, it has been possible to visit Cuba for a long time. There are established agencies specializing in different kinds of visits to Cuba: some with home-stays, others emphasizing the cultural history of Havana. Yet, the changes in the diplomatic relationship between the two countries will alter the practical aspects of visiting Cuba, but perhaps more importantly the perception of Cuba as a possible tourist destination.
The keep-at-an-arms-length relationship between the US and Cuba has kept many American tourists from considering a trip even though Cuba is basically within arm’s distance now. With the perception changing about the travel restrictions, now is the time to capitalize on the rush of tourists that are sure to follow.
For those with travel merchant accounts, this is a chance to try to formulate some vacation and tourist packages for Cuba. Establishing your small business as a safe and great way to visit Cuba will pay dividends for years to come. There’s little to lose; even if diplomatic relations go south again, it is likely the actual ability to visit Cuba will remain as it did before. However, if prevailing perceptions in the US consider Cuba as a practical and attractive tourist destination, now is the time to get your toe in that door.
By setting up a package and establishing some relationships in Havana for tourism, your travel agency can make a low risk investment that has some spectacular potential for an excellent return on your investment.