By Cuba Journal Staff
Engage Cuba is an independent public policy organization dedicated to mobilizing American businesses, non-profit groups and concerned citizens in support of the the ongoing U.S.‐Cuba normalization process and enacting legislation to reform U.S. travel and trade restrictions with Cuba.
Despite its short life, the organization has acquired an impressive membership roster. To date, members include the National Foreign Trade Council, National Association of Manufacturers, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Council of the Americas, Engage Cuba—Third Way, #CubaNow, Cuba Study Group and the Center for Democracy in the Americas. Corporate support is equally as impressive. Procter & Gamble, Cargill, Choice Hotels and The Havana Group are also giving their support to the effort.
ASTA, The American Society of Travel Agents, a recent addition to the membership list, explains it is joining, “in an effort to generate support from American businesses and non-profit groups to reform U.S. travel and trade restrictions with Cuba,” according to a statement. According to Zane Kerby, ASTA’s president and CEO, “The benefits of increased engagement actually go beyond the shores of Cuba. We believe lifting the travel ban will bring economic benefits to Cuba’s neighbors as well, and the travel industry that serves them by generating demand for new passenger routes, tours and travel agent services.” ASTA has estimated that at least 2 million additional Americans could visit Cuba by 2017 if Congress votes to lift travel restrictions by end of year.
According to Travel Pulse, the new group is unleashing a series of ads on major networks, including CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.