Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Trevor Alleyne, and Rafael Romeu
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The Cuban revolution and the subsequent US embargo on Cuba helped shape the tourism
sector in the Caribbean, facilitating the birth and growth of alternative destinations.
Therefore, the apprehension of the Caribbean tourism industry towards a change in US
travel policy to Cuba is understandable, but likely unwarranted. The history of tourism in
the region has shown that it is possible for all destinations to grow despite large changes
in market shares. Our estimations show that liberalizing US-Cuba tourism could result in
US arrivals to Cuba of between 3 and 5.6 million, most of it coming from new tourists to
the region. We also identify the destinations most at risk of changes in US-Cuba relations.