American travel to Cuba is surging.
Authorized travel by Americans to Cuba has increased by more than 50 percent this year, according to Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the United States Charge d’Affaires to Cuba.
The increase has come in light of eased travel restrictions since the US-Cuba rapprochement at the end of 2014.
It’s likely that the overall number of Americans who are traveling to Cuba, both authorized and unauthorized, is even larger.
Indeed, Cuba has seen a 17 percent increase in tourist arrivals so far this year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
That number does not even include American travelers, meaning the true number is significantly larger.
“One of the President’s goals in announcing the new approach to Cuba was to promote increased authorized travel, commerce, and the flow of information to the Cuban people,” DeLaurentis told a media briefing this week.
That increase has led to a very tight hotel occupancy in Cuba, an inventory problem that will continue to compound should regularly-scheduled flights to Cuba resume.