The Modern Gladiator | A Man's Guide to Living
Cuba Image

Experience All The Wonders of Cuba!

on April 10 | in Issue 15, Travel & Leisure | by | with No Comments


On January 16, 2015 OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control) issued new regulations for travel to Cuba. Cuba is gaining popularity as one of “the” places to visit. Today, my favorite Cuba supplier is willing to share some of the new regulations pertaining to Cuban travel.

Q: Is the travel embargo over?

A: No. OFAC made it very clear that the travel restrictions are still in place and those who travel to Cuba still need to comply with the regulations.

Q: Can any American travel to Cuba?

A: Yes, as long as they comply with the newly expanded regulations.

Q: Is there a need for a license to do so?

A: No, there is no longer need for a license (permit) from OFAC to travel to Cuba.

cuban cuisine old car in cuban street

Q: Can an American travel independently (FIT)?

A: Yes, contrary to what some travel entities have published, Americans can travel independently and do not need to be part of a group. Ya’lla Tours has arranged legal travel for individuals since 2002 and will continue to do so, making sure that the individual traveler complies with the new regulations.

cuban beach

Q: What about spending money in Cuba and use of American credit cards?

A: Another major change in the regulations is that Americans can now spend money in Cuba. As for using credit cards, legally, it is now permitted but American and Cuban banks need to iron out the details of working together. This may take a few months, so in the meantime people will have to carry cash with them and exchange it to CUCs when they arrive in Cuba.



cuban beach-old car

Q: Can any travel agent sell Cuba from now on? What are the “risks” or complications with this?

A: Yes, this is one of the major changes in the new regulations.

1. Yet, the regulations are very clear that anyone who sells Cuba and sends money to Cuba must file a yearly report to OFAC and maintain all records for each traveler for a five-year period.

2. OFAC demands that all sellers of travel to Cuba be the “gate keepers” and make sure that their travelers comply with the law. To do this, one needs to be very well versed with the law, as OFAC will hold responsible and liable those venders whose passengers do not comply with the regulations.

3. After more than 12 years of dealing with Cuban travel entities, we can testify that unless one is very experienced in dealing with the Cubans, we strongly advise America travel agents not to do so, but rather, to deal with an experienced, knowledgeable wholesaler.

4. The Cuban government has strict restrictions in place as to who in Cuba can deal with American travelers. Until this changes (if it changes…), American travel agents cannot work with just anyone in Cuba.

cigar_rolling Cuban_musician

Q: Can a travel agent collect funds from their customers traveling to Cuba?

A: Yes, they can. This is another new change to the regulations.

The Cathedral of Havana

Q: Can a travel agent earn a commission on their bookings to Cuba?

A: Yes, they can. This is another new change to the regulations.

Q: Since Cuba is now more open, are we expecting to see a drop in the high prices for travel to Cuba?

A: Unfortunately no, to the contrary. Because Cuba lacks enough hotel rooms and other needed infrastructure to handle the large potential flow of US travelers, we are already seeing price increases since President Obama’s speech in December 2014. This is an additional price hike to the 25% increase we saw from 2014 to 2015.

Q: Where does Ya’lla Tours fit in all the new regulations?

beautiful cuban dancerA: Since 2002, Ya’lla Tours has been licensed to sell Cuba. It has been our choice to do so only through travel agencies. We have educated hundreds, if not thousands, of American travel agents on how to sell Cuba and about Cuba as a travel destination.

• We will continue our support of the travel industry by acting as a full-scale wholesaler, just as we do with our other destinations.

• Ya’lla Tours will qualify your customers to travel, file the reports to OFAC, and take the burden away from you.

• Ya’lla Tours is the only wholesale tour company in the USA who does not deal with a Cuban-owned DMC. We deal with a privately owned DMC, which ensures the quality and excellence that has been our standard for more than 12 years.

• Ya’lla Tours can arrange legal travel for groups and for individuals.


Q: Can Ya’lla Tours customize a program for Cuba? For groups? For individuals?

A: Yes, we can. As long as travelers qualify, either as an FIT or part of a group, Ya’lla Tours will use our expertise and experience to customize a trip, as we have been doing for the last 12 years.

To summarize: Yes, Cuba is now more open than before. Yes, many more Americans can now legally travel to Cuba. Yes, one can travel as part of a group or as an FIT.

Pin It

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

« »

Scroll to top