Viva Cuba: Our Favorite Responses from The Inaugural TravelPulse #TPOT
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
The inaugural TravelPulse on Twitter chat was held May 9, with some of the biggest names in travel chiming in to share their experiences, their thoughts and their predictions on travel to Cuba. We are immensely grateful to the many suppliers, experts and participants who joined us for the first of many #TPOT chats; if nothing else, for adding so much to our vision board. You can see some of our favorite photos from the event here.
We had a few questions for our experts throughout the chat, and their answers offered enlightenment across the board on this fascinating new destination for the American traveler. We've gathered a few of our favorite answers below. Check them out, then be sure to follow @TravelPulse on Twitter for updates on our next #TPOT chat.
Q1: Why Cuba? What makes it the place we all want to see right now?
Q1: It is the true last frontier for Americans to travel. So close, but still a world away. - Ronen Paldi, Y'Alla Tours #TPOT— Tim Wood (@TimWoodPulse) May 9, 2016
A1: Widely publicized changes to travel regulations and 53 years of pent up demand, Americans want to see Cuba before it changes. #TPOT— insightCuba (@insightcuba) May 9, 2016
Q2: What is the biggest misconception currently about traveling to #Cuba?
Q2: That Communism rules everyday life, that there's poor infrastructure & the people hate the Americans (all totally untrue) - Paldi #TPOT— Tim Wood (@TimWoodPulse) May 9, 2016
A2: People also seem to think "eased restrictions" mean they can have a beach weekend in Varadero! #TPOT— IE Travel (@IEtravel) May 9, 2016
Q4: The resilience of the people & their very happy attitude to life in spite of their harsh living conditions. - Paldi, Y'Alla Tours #TPOT— Tim Wood (@TimWoodPulse) May 9, 2016
A5: Meeting local artisans, farmers, performers & students. Touring Habana Vieja (Havana’s old section). Small undiscovered museums. #TPOT— TauckAgent (@TauckAgent) May 9, 2016
A6. Lack of infrastructure concerns travelers, especially in an emergecy, so they should consider travel insurance for peace of mind #TPOT— Allianz Travel USA (@AllianzTravelUS) May 9, 2016
A6: Hotel availability - esp higher end - is hard to find. Travelers must book v far in advance or thru tour operator w/allocation. #TPOT— Abercrombie & Kent (@AKTravel_USA) May 9, 2016
A7: Anything to do w/ the arts or music is incredible. Seeing Swan Lake at the ballet, listening to the symphony, jazz or dance salsa. #TPOT— Tom Popper (@CubaPoppy) May 9, 2016
A8: Rent a bicycle in Trinidad and head out of town towards the coast. There are lots of little spots to get some sand to yourself #tpot— Charlie & Kristina (@MapTrotting) May 9, 2016
A9: Loved the paladars – small, family-owned restaurants. Classic rice & beans. Fresh, local seafood! Mojitos, mojitos, mojitos! #TPOT— Tauck (@tauck) May 9, 2016
A10: Cuba’s challenge is to manage growth & stay authentic. Luckily, they know they’re unique & they can learn from other islands. #TPOT— Tauck (@tauck) May 9, 2016
A10: Strong environmental protections! Our expedition is working hard to show Cuba the value in keeping wild places wild! #TPOT— Lindblad Expeditions (@LindbladExp) May 9, 2016
A10: Cuba will open five new top line hotels in Havana by 2020. Tourism minister says he will add 1250 new rooms annually across Cuba. #TPOT— Tom Popper (@CubaPoppy) May 9, 2016
BONUS: What's the one thing we could pack that Cubans want to trade the most with U.S. travelers?
BONUS: Mainly clothing I think, they love denim jeans and nice hats. Good books too. Most of those on sale feature the revolution #tpot— Charlie & Kristina (@MapTrotting) May 9, 2016
BONUS: Cubans want to trade stories w/ travelers. They want interaction, to know people care about them. #TPOT— Stewart Chiron (@CruiseGuy) May 9, 2016
TravelPulse Senior Editor Michael Isenbek contributed to this report.
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