Tourism experts say Cuba safe for U.S. travellers

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-30 10:01:54|Editor: Chengcheng
Video PlayerClose

HAVANA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Cuba remains a safe destination for U.S. travellers despite the setback in bilateral relations after President Donald Trump came to power last year, U.S. and Cuban tourism experts said Monday.

The Caribbean island state is as safe for travellers from the United States as from elsewhere, representatives from U.S. tourism businesses told media here.

Tom Popper, head of the U.S. travel agency Insight Cuba and sponsor of the meeting with reporters, said little has changed in the ways U.S. citizens can legally travel to Cuba.

"Traveling to Cuba is legal and safe, something that many Americans do not fully understand," Popper said, adding that the U.S. government deliberately ignored the fact with its warnings about alleged risks.

After Trump took office in January 2017, a detente in Cuba-U.S. ties since they resumed diplomatic relationship in July 2015 after a breakup of more than half a century was reversed. Last year, the U.S. State Department advised Americans not to travel to Cuba after U.S. diplomats in Havana suffered alleged acoustic attacks.

Last November, Washington introduced new restrictions on U.S. citizens' visits to Cuba.

Popper said facilitations approved by the administration of former President Barack Obama for U.S. travellers to Cuba remain unchanged, although tourism is still a prohibited activity for Americans.

"Cuba is one of the safest destinations in the world and during 2017, we were visited by 619,777 Americans, none reported problems of any kind during their trips," said Jose Manuel Bisbe, director of Viajes Cuba, a company under the ministry of tourism, citing a 95 percent satisfaction rate in foreign visitors last year.