Cuba Is Calling (or Is It?)

Cuba Is Calling (or Is It?)

By Monica Compton, CMP, January 29, 2016

With the relaxation of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba, the country has become a culturally rich, historically important destination for American groups. Cuba is experiencing an awakening, with corporations already targeting the island nation to make a big splash with their events.

Americans are drawn to the unknown of Cuba. Naturally, curiosity is a big driver in wanting to travel to a country that hasn’t been accessible for 50 years. “Cuba is a luxury destination in terms of people and culture,” says Collin Laverty, founder and president of Cuba Educational Travel. “Americans will find incredible music, dance and ingenuity of the people.”

Cuba’s food shortage presents one of many opportunities to incorporate CSR into events, which can prove transformative on both sides. “[Cubans] are looking for information and are like sponges when it comes to talking with Americans,” says Peter Sanchez, CEO of Cuba Tours and Travel.

The education factor goes both ways. Corporate groups will learn the turbulent nature of Cuba’s past; what has kept the people going in a Communist society; and how their culture weaves together a strong fabric of art and music undettered by a controlling government.

Despite all the allures of a country isolated from the rest of the world for more than a half-century, many challenges associated with the frosty relationship between the United States and Cuba remain. In that regard, Cuba is a risk for meeting professionals willing to take on financial and technological challenges—signs the country’s infrastructure might not be ready for a surge of U.S. travelers, let alone groups—yet it remains a destination promising rich rewards.

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