Cuba hotel rates set to rise as US travel opens up

Havana has limited hotel rooms
Havana has limited hotel rooms

Hotel rates in Cuba could soar this year due to a lack of hotels and the relaxation on US residents travelling to the country.

Tour operator Western & Oriental has warned many hotels in Havana are already full in February and March due to a lack of bed stock and this will worsen when more Americans start to travel to the country.

Yesterday President Barack Obama opened up export opportunities between the US and Cuba, less than a month after he announced regulations would be relaxed.

Rural areas such as Vinales, Trinidad and Cienfuegos also have limited beach stock, while beach destinations still have availability.

“February and March is already fairly full for Havana due to the lack of bed stock, so when demand increases from the USA this will become a bigger problem and I am sure we will see prices increase,” said David Pointer, head of product at W&O. “There are a number of new hotel developments happening in Havana at the moment, but this will only take the pressure of the current demand. Once the USA rules are relaxed further and there are no travel restrictions in place for US residents, the capacity issue will just get worse.”

The operator said the lack of hotel beds has already prompted an ‘unprecedented surge’ in enquiries to Cuba after Obama’s move.

“We have all been gearing up for a very busy year for Cuba, but the immediate spike of enquiries we have had in the last twelve hours following President Obama’s announcement really has been incredible,” Pointer added.

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