The Trump administration's expected tightening of
restrictions on American travel to Cuba is disappointing, ASTA said.
President Trump on Friday is set to end individual
people-to-people travel to Cuba, reversing one of the hallmarks of President
Obama's Cuba policy.
"ASTA is disappointed with what we believe will be the
thrust of the Trump administration's announcement -- that it plans to turn back
the clock in terms of expanded travel and trade between the U.S. and Cuba,"
ASTA CEO Zane Kerby said in a statement. "It is important to note that the
extent of these changes will not be known until the Treasury and Commerce departments
issue updated regulations in the next few months -- and ASTA plans to fully participate
in that process."
Kerby said that progress made over the past few years "now
appears to be a great risk."
"Broadly speaking, while challenges remain in terms of
Cuba's readiness for large volumes of American travelers, the past few years
have seen a growth in business for U.S. travel agencies, tour operators,
airlines, cruise lines, hotel and other travel companies," Kerby said.
ASTA has been a champion of entirely lifting the embargo and
allowing unrestricted travel to Cuba. He said the Society will continue to
advocate for that cause.
"ASTA continues to believe that the American people are
the best ambassadors of U.S. values abroad, and should be allowed to freely
promulgate those values and travel to any destination they wish without
restriction from their own government," he said.