14 Responses

  1. Ben
    Ben at |

    So, out of curiosity, do you see the “opening” of Cuba to be a good thing. I was definitely looking forward to going for 4 reasons: 1) I believe this “opening”/tourism will begin the long process of changing Cuba to a more representative gov’t, 2) they supposedly have fantastic scuba diving and 3) “old” Havana looks pretty cool and 4) I love latin/island-type cuisine. I don’t want to be a part of causing the infrastructure to fail, but see #1 above. Just curious as to your thoughts on the entire set-up.

  2. Joey
    Joey at |

    I think it depends on whether Americans will travel the independent/backpacker route with casa particulares and viazul buses, etc. or through one of the people2people tours or cruises. I’d presume the tours already have a block of hotel rooms reserved for their customers and for those who opt for the cruise route, they will have a modern/luxury room with A/C, etc.
    When I went last November for the marathon (which fulfilled the general license), we found it was tough to get a reserved seat on the Viazul bus as they’re always packed and sold out!
    Amongst my friends, most of them feel are thinking of going the cruise route just to see a glimpse of Cuba in a comfortable/affordable manner, and if they like it, hopefully return for a longer stay when more tourist infrastructure has been built.
    I did feel most Cubans did not speak English so knowing Spanish would be a huge plus.

  3. Dan
    Dan at |

    The only way they are going to be able to deal with this is a massive influx of foreign money and know how. The government simply cant afford all the improvements needed. They are going to need far more taxis, rental cars, hotel beds, food services, animal husbandry etc… If they want this to happen quickly, they are going to have to continue to allow more overseas companies in to help solve these problems.

    As for the internet, perhaps they use that to help limit the flow of guests. By simply saying that internet is not available, one would expect that they could reduce the number of visitors in the near term.

  4. eponymous coward
    eponymous coward at |

    Hotel Hustle doesn’t seem to be working so well right now. “Too many redirects” errors in Chrome, and the final URL I end up with is http://wandr.me/error.html?aspxerrorpath=/Rejected-By-UrlScan

  5. ABC
    ABC at |

    Most tourists will eventually go to Varadero. This could potentially be Cancun2.0. It’s fine for Canadians and Europeans. It should be fine for Yankees too. This will be followed by Cayo Coco. But you’re right, it will take some time for Havana to recover.

  6. FreeTravelGuys
    FreeTravelGuys at |

    Not only does Cuba not have the infrastructure, but also by working for the government even in hotels and other service areas, the Cuban people do not have the necessary skills or even the mindset of how customer service works, and they will most certainly not only be overwhelmed, but most tourists who go to Cuba never return. Prime example, check out the guy in your picture handling the food and not wearing any gloves. There isn’t even basic hygiene in most places, and worst part is they don’t even realize it or seem to bother them.

  7. Visitor
    Visitor at |
  8. Edd
    Edd at |

    I was in Cuba in February and it’s one destination I wouldn’t return to.

    The infrastructure can barely cope now with a lot of tourists – I cannot imagine how it will manage with the influx of North Americans!

    Everything – from buying a bottle of water to getting on a bus – is a hassle in Cuba. I’ve never backpacked in a more difficult country. The double currency means for tourists that prices are a bit ridiculous and often very poor value.

    I hope Cuba opens up to the world and democracy comes soon, but serious infrastructure work is needed.

  9. Jaw-Dropping Anbang News, Insane Hyatt Promo, Yuge United Awards - TravelBloggerBuzz

    […] including several trip reports, I had the same exact feelings laid out in this post: “The Fragility of Cuba’s Infrastructure“.  Oh, and Fidel opened his mouth, STFU […]