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The Holbrook Insider


In Case You Missed It – Further Cuba Restrictions Announced

Jun 13, 2019 |


| by Christopher Bensley

Cuba Group Travel Still Possible Despite Recent Changes

On June 4, the US Treasury Department announced new restrictions on US citizens traveling to Cuba under the general license known as group “people-to-people travel.” It also included restrictions on cruise ships and yachts.

Any groups that were organized prior to this announcement will NOT be affected by these changes. Please feel confident in reassuring your booked travelers—and those interested—that your itinerary will continue as scheduled. In summary:

  • For any program that has already been booked, those programs will be able to continue under the new regulations.

  • Enrollments on programs booked before June 5 may continue until departure.

  • As of June 5, Holbrook is no longer able to book new people-to-people groups, but other categories will allow for many Holbrook leaders, groups, and individuals to plan programs moving forward.

What form of group travel to Cuba is still possible?

There are still 12 license categories for travel to Cuba. The people-to-people license was a subset of one of the categories called Educational Activities. Licenses such as Support for the Cuban People, Humanitarian Projects, Private Foundations, Professional Research, and Public Performances, Clinics, Workshops continue to provide opportunities for many organizations as well as for the individuals Holbrook serves.  Also, the Educational Activities license will still be valid for our short-course study abroad programs for academic institutions with faculty and students, including for secondary schools.

We will also be looking into other avenues for offering authorized programs to Cuba that would meet the requirements of the other licensed categories. Many Americans may find the regulations confusing, but with the right travel programming for the given license, travel is still legal and very possible.

How should I plan for the future?

Holbrook is already working with a variety of educational and environmental groups to plan for trips in 2020 and 2021 under the new license categories.  We are more than happy to discuss the new license categories mentioned above to find the right fit for your organization and trip. Holbrook has been working in Cuba since the year 2000 and is well-versed in assisting groups and individuals in understanding how to create great experiences in Cuba that are in alignment with the US rules and regulations. We look forward to continuing to do so.

photo by Kate Perez