84 CUBAN HOTELS PLUS SCORES OF RESTAURANTS, STORES ARE BANNED
U.S. publishes long list of places
in Cuba off limits to Americans
By Johanna Jainchill
Cuba tour operators last week
rushed to assure Americans that
they could still legally travel to
Cuba after the Trump administration released a lengthy list of businesses with which U.S. citizens are
no longer permitted to do business.
Effective Nov. 9, Americans visiting Cuba
must avoid scores of hotels, shops, tour companies and other businesses that the U.S.
State Department has determined are owned,
at least in part, by the Cuban military.
“Americans can rest assured that it’s still
completely legal to visit Cuba,” said Col-
lin Laverty, president of Cuba Educational
Travel. “Commercial flights, cruise ships,
Marriott hotels, Airbnb and top-notch tour
providers continue to operate business as
usual. … There remain countless ways to le-
gally visit the island, and there are many fully
compliant avenues for doing business.”
The State Department lists as off lim-
its a total of 84 hotels, island-wide — 27 in
Havana alone — including the Gran Hotel
Manzana Kempinski, which opened earlier
this year, billing itself as Cuba’s first real lux-
ury hotel. The Four Points By Sheraton, the
first U.S.-branded hotel to operate in Cuba
Nonstop bad news adding to challenges
as tour ops head into brochure season
By Michelle Baran
For tour operators vying to be heard amid
a cacophony of competing voices, brochure
launch season presents both opportunity
and challenge. This year, they have had the
added challenge of trying to drum up excitement for their 2018 tours amid a nonstop
negative news cycle that has been the backdrop to much of their September and October sales and marketing efforts.
Stephanie Mirando, marketing manager at
Collette, was making the rounds last month
at the AAA Travel National Conference in
Charlotte, N.C., where she was experiencing
the challenge of marketing Collette’s 2018
brochure firsthand. She noted that in addi-
tion to selling escorted tours, Collette’s travel
agent partners often also sell cruises and ho-
tel packages that might have been affected by
the recent hurricanes.
“It’s definitely been a challenge,” she said.
“Being in touring, we understand that they
have their cruise suppliers and their hotels.”
Acknowledging that even during a quiet
year — which this has not been — travel
agents have a lot of information to retain
about all their different supplier partners,
this year Collette did something different
when releasing its 2018 products.
In addition to the regular consumer brochure, the tour company created a brochure
specifically for travel agents called the Agent
Resource & Worldwide Travel Guide. The
guide is meant to be a selling tool for agents
with information upfront such as how to sell
guided tours, a training page that dissects
See BROCHURES on Page 70 See CUBA on Page 68
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BY TOM STIEGHORST PAGE 16