NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since the détente between the U.S. and Cuba began on December 17, 2014, most travel related costs soared between 100%-400% due to a massive spike in U.S. and Canadian travelers. Mandated pricing increases from state agencies and hotels, in attempt to cool down overheating demand, has finally waned. For the first time since early 2014, prices issued from state run agencies and hoteliers alike have decreased this spring, summer, and fall. InsightCuba, a single destination tour operator, providing legal travel to Cuba since 2000, responded immediately by passing the savings on to the consumer.
Today insightCuba launched its Spring Savings promotion saving travelers $500 per couple ($250 per person) on eight of its people-to-people tours from May through October. "This is the first time we've seen costs come down instead of up, in three years," says Tom Popper, president of insightCuba. Popper recalls, during a February 2015 tourism meeting in Havana, the Minister of Tourism announced that hotel costs were increasing 100% to help deal with overwhelming demand for tourism in Cuba. Since then, costs periodically increased 15%-20% on top of the initial 100% increase throughout 2015 and 2016. Standard room rates, especially in Havana, for some the more desirable hotels jumped from $150/night to $650/night and up.
Early on, some experts in travel signaled that with further changes to U.S. regulations, the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, and commercial flights, that prices would fall. However, with demand outstripping supply with regard to hotel rooms and other aspects of Cuba's tourism infrastructure, prices naturally rose. "The question was, for how long were prices going to increase or stay at artificially inflated levels. At some point the market would force a correction," says Popper.
Hotel costs aren't the first to recognize that a correction in prices may be needed. Taxi fares, which more than doubled in the past two years, have started to come down. But not every segment of the tourism economy in Cuba is responding as quickly. Classic car rides, meals at the more popular paladares (private family run restaurants) and other services have double or tripled in price in just a few months.
Popper cautions, that the Cuba travel market will continue to look for its pricing equilibrium over time and as political events unfold, prices may again go up and down. "While we're looking at a decrease in costs for this spring, summer and fall, anything can happen for the 2017 and 2018 winter season." He suggests for travelers to book now to take advantage of lower costs this spring, summer, and fall or to book winter trips now to lock in pricing.
After traveling to the island countless times over almost two decades, Popper says that summer in Cuba is his favorite time to go. Crowds are smaller and Cuba has a charming feel in summer. Kids are playing in the streets and people are happy. For those that say that it's hot in Cuba during the summer, Popper says 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."
To take advantage of insightCuba's Spring Savings promotion visit the Cuba tours page or call an expert travel specialist at 800-450-2822.
Undiscovered Cuba (12 Days / 11 Nights)
For travelers with a passion for exploration and a desire to leave no stone unturned, this exclusive tour provides goes from east to west. Prices start at $5,645 per person, double occupancy.
Classic Cuba (8 Days / 7 Nights)
Beyond the capital, travel back in time to explore Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Latin America's best-preserved colonial towns. Stops along the way include Cienfuegos, the "Pearl of the South," and Playa Larga. Prices start at $4,545 per person, double occupancy.
Legendary Cuba (7 Days / 6 Nights)
Guests experience city and country life on this journey to one of Cuba's most picturesque areas, the eastern province of Pinar del Río, known for its scenic national parks, expansive tobacco fields and friendly peasant farmers. Prices start at $4,245 per person, double occupancy.
Vintage Cuba (6 Days / 5 Nights)
Travelers will go "back in time" on a journey through the country's colorful, complex history. This handcrafted tour provides stellar accommodations at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and the Melia Cohiba in Havana. Prices start at $4,145 per person, double occupancy.
Jazz in Havana (5 Days / 4 Nights)
Get deep into the groove of Cuba's world-famous jazz on this musical journey through the heart and soul of Havana and the charming town of Matanzas. Prices start at $3,845 per person, double occupancy.
Weekend in Havana (4 Days / 3 Nights)
Like the sizzling salsa rhythms that ripple through its cobblestone streets, Havana springs to life with warmth and vivaciousness that never stops taking you by surprise. Prices start at $2,795 per person, double occupancy.
Varadero+Havana (4Days / 3 Nights)
Spanish colonial Havana and 3,500 miles of unspoiled Caribbean coastline, making it one of the most sought after destinations in the Caribbean. We'll take you to the heart of it all. Prices start at $1,745 per person, double occupancy.
Havana Getaway (4 Days / 3 Nights)
This elusive Caribbean capital city has caught the eye and captured the hearts of travelers for decades. The sights and sounds of the city are lively and inviting, just like the people who inhabit it. Prices start at $1,945 per person, double occupancy.
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