More than 80 Cuban hotels have been declared off-limits for U.S. citizens travelling to the island, under new restrictions barring American visitors from patronizing businesses which the Trump administration claims have close ties to Cuba’s military and government.
According to NPR, the hotels are among dozens of companies blacklisted by the State Department this week, described by the government as “entities and sub-entities under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba.”
Prohibited properties on the list include those operated by Gaviota and Habaguanex, many of which are part of popular resort chains such as Iberostar, Melia and Memories. Tour operators Gaviota Tours and Crucero del Sol are also included in the ban, along with businesses catering to tourists including the newly opened Manzana de Gomez luxury shopping mall, plus several marinas and beverage companies.
The restrictions come days after Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism announced the destination surpassed 4 million international visitors as of Nov. 6 – 54 days earlier than in 2016 - with Cuba on track to welcome 4.5 million visitors by the end of the year. Canada continues to be Cuba’s top inbound international market.