I know at the time it seemed like a decent idea. Open the door to Cuba for American tourists to visit the Caribbean island. That was something that hadn’t been able to happen in over fifty years. And everyone thought it was such a great idea. Bobo Obama had come up with a wonderful idea that only a handful of immigrants from Havana living in Miami were upset about. So what could go wrong?
Well, since the travel ban was lifted, airlines made a beeline to get to the Communist isle. They fought over slots and gates at the airport, and tried to get as many flights into Havana as humanly possible. Cruise lines were booking tours and excursions to explore the island, trying to make all sorts of stops on their “Eastern Caribbean” itineraries.
And now, all of it has flopped.
Call it another Obama failure (there have been many!). What has happened is Obama may have thought it would be a great idea to have people be able to travel to Cuba, but the American public weren’t all that interested. 70% of the people surveyed last year have said they were not going to make plans to go to the island nation. This year that number that turned thumbs down to Cuba rose to 76%. And what about the airlines? Well, Silver Airlines has pulled the plug on their flights to Havana. So has Spirit, citing costs that are much too exorbitant for them to make a profit. Frontier also has cancelled all of their flights into and out of Cuba. Even though the airlines thought it would be a money-maker, it’s proven to be a bust as the flights were usually empty.
Why in the world wouldn’t Americans want to visit a land they’ve been unable to for almost 60 years? Well, the primary reason is the fact that Cuba is so far behind the times, and their infrastructure is so lacking, that people are afraid they are going to get third-world type of hotels, no running water, of course, no dependable internet, and dirty conditions everywhere.
Havana hasn’t had the time yet to have the American Hoteliers come in and build the new resorts that probably will happen at some point in the future. Instead, you are going to be staying at third and fourth rate hotels, and paying top dollar for the privilege. And most Americans would rather be pampered somewhere else for the same money. Now, that’s not to say the Caribbean doesn’t have more than its fair share of poor and under-developed nations. The island of St. Lucia is one of the poorest. So is Jamaica. And both are on every single cruise lines’ itinerary. That’s because the beauty of the island, and the things to do there outweigh the fact the people are starving the living conditions are deplorable. And it goes without saying that there are more American and European style hotels and resorts already built on those islands. There is no Sandals Havana yet. But don’t worry…there will be. Until then, it’s another reason to say,
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!