Americans May Soon be able to Travel to Cuba Legally for First Time Since 2003
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insight Cuba, the leading provider of legal people-to-people educational travel for Americans to Cuba, is preparing to resume its acclaimed travel programs that were halted in 2003. With the White House signaling its intention to ease the travel restrictions, legal travel to Cuba could resume in the coming months.
"We've been preparing for the possibility of again offering our Cuba programs since August 2010, when reports surfaced that President Obama was going to ease the travel restrictions," said Tom Popper, Director of Insight Cuba. "Once the new Cuba travel regulations are published in the next few weeks, we'll be looking to renew our license. Our hope is that we'll be able to operate programs similar to those we offered from 2000 through 2003 that provided participants with unique access to Cuban society and allowed for unprecedented interaction between Americans and Cubans."
On January 14, 2011, President Obama announced that he would ease the Cuba travel restrictions and restore the once-legal people-to-people programs operated by organizations like Insight Cuba. In 2000, Insight Cuba began offering Americans the rare opportunity to discover Cuba through its people. Nearly 2,500 Americans traveled there legally with Insight Cuba in the second half of 2003 alone – until stronger travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba brought such programs to a halt.
"Insight Cuba participants were introduced to an amazing travel experience with rare access to people and places average travelers never see. When local Cubans and our American participants came together, an instant friendship was born. They shared stories, traded smiles, and walked away with memories to last a lifetime. It really is what traveling is all about," Popper continued.
"In fact, Americans who visited Cuba with us 10 years ago have phoned and emailed us, passionately reminiscing about their experiences, and encouraging us to resume our programs as soon as possible. This really validates what we do."
Indeed, Insight Cuba plans to operate programs similar to its pre-2003 offerings. The trips always included stays in Havana, and often included excursions to Santiago de Cuba and to the eastern and western provinces. With the guidance and expertise of local professionals, participants were immersed in Cuban culture, visiting schools, historic sites, hospitals and farms, interacting and mingling with local community groups, women's groups, artists, musicians, religious leaders, and more.
"Provided we receive authorization to resume our programs, we are planning a special inaugural trip to Cuba – and with that in mind, we're urging interested parties to follow our updates on Facebook and to join our email list by visiting our website at www.insightcuba.com," Popper concluded.
SOURCE Insight Cuba