Tour Operators InsightCuba cuts prices on select departures By Gay Nagle Myers / February 15, 2017 Share 1 Photo Credit: Shutterstock -- InsightCuba has dropped prices by $250 per person on eight of its people-to-people programs from May through October due to a decrease in prices issued from state-run agencies and hotels in Cuba. "This is the first time we have seen costs come down instead of up in three years," said Tom Popper, president. Since detente began between the U.S. and Cuba began on Dec. 17, 2014, "most travel related costs soared between 100% and 400% due to a massive spike in U.S. and Canadian travelers," he said.During a February 2015 tourism meeting in Havana, for example, the minister of tourism announced a 100% increase in hotel rates to deal with the demand for rooms."Since then, costs periodically increased between 15% and 20% on top of the initial 100% increase throughout 2015 and 2016. With demand for hotel rooms outstripping supply, standard room rates, especially in Havana, jumped from $150 a night to $650 a night and up in some of the more desirable hotels," Popper said."The question was how long were prices going to increase or stay at artificially inflated levels? At some point, the market would force a correction," he said.Although hotel rates are coming down, as are taxi fares, prices for other tourism aspects such as classic car rides and meals at paladares (private, family-run restaurants) are not responding as quickly, according to Popper. He warned that as political events unfold, prices may again fluctuate."While we're looking at a decrease through the fall, anything can happen for the 2017-2018 winter season," Popper said.He countered the argument that it is hot in Cuba in the summer, when the prices are discounted. "It's equally hot in New York. Given a choice between a hot day in the Northeast or a hot day in Havana, I'd choose Havana."