Tour operators are saying that the Trump administration's
ending of the people-to-people category of Cuba travel will not impact their
The administration on Tuesday imposed major new restrictions
on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, including a ban on people to people travel
and travel by cruise ship.
However, many tour operators say their tours do not operate
under the people to people category that has been banned and will continue to
operate under the assumption that the other categories of authorized travel
to Cuba are not affected.
One of them, "support for the Cuban people," is
commonly used by Cuba tour operators, including Cuba Candela, which said that
its tours remain legal under the new rules.
"Our clients participate in a full-time schedule of
activities that enhance contact with the Cuban people and engage in meaningful
interactions with the Cuban people, through wonderful immersive cultural
experiences that comply with U.S. travel rules," said Cuba Candela CEO Chad
Olin. "We continue to operate business as usual, and we continue to
guarantee compliance with U.S. law."
Cultural Cuba owner David Lee said, "Removing people-to-people
does not affect companies like mine. We only do support for the Cuban people,
humanitarian and religious travel on a private custom basis for our clients.
These forms are still legal and it's business as usual for us."
Ya'lla Tours president Ronen Paldi said it has been
operating tours since 2002 "with other legal provisions, other than
Collin Laverty, president of Cuba Educational Travel, was
one of several companies that was analyzing the new laws and seeing how their
tours would be impacted.
"There are still a number of ways to legally visit Cuba.
Commercial flights were left intact and any previously made reservations can go
forward," Laverty said. "We will study the new regulations and figure
out how to continue to legally take thousands of Americans to Cuba going