A nine-day mourning period has begun for citizens of Cuba, following the death of Fidel Castro. With the implications following the death of "El Comandante," travelers are beginning to wonder what this means for future Cuban travel and tourism.
Following the death declaration of the 90-year old former military leader, bars and restaurants have shut off their music as a sign of respect. Despite the silence, hotels and other establishments are allowed to continue formal operations, without music.
The late leader's death was announced through a television announcement made by current Cuban president, Raul Castro, on Friday. According to The Independent, this silence is to include public gatherings and special events, as per the younger Castro's request.
In addition to the music ban, special commemorative events are being organized all across the country to honor the late Castro. These movements are set to include a mass rally in the Plaza de la Revolucion on the evening of November 29, as well as a private ceremony in Santiago de Cuba on December 3.
Travel agencies and tourism advisers suggest that the late President's death will not have any grave implications on foreign travelers. However, they recommend perspective travelers to continue monitoring updates regarding road closures and traffic during the upcoming commemorations.
Despite the death of Castro, the following weeks are believed to bring in a surge in US and Canadian tourism to Cuba. The spike in North American tourists will be a first for Cuban tourism that has always been more popular among European tourists.
According to a report by The Telegraph, Fidel Castro had always been pro-tourism. The late leader firmly believed in the potential of Cuba as a tourism hotspot. However, in a famous speech declaration, he also maintained that the dark past of Havana is to be respected by locals and tourists alike.
As a result of this declaration, most American-owned airlines have emphasized Cuban tourism in cities outside of Havana. As of November 28, some of the first direct US to Cuba flights have been organized by airlines such as Jet Blue and Delta Air Lines.
Travel experts believe that Cuban tourism is set to continuously increase, with the death of the former military leader further promoting the country's pre-revolution and revolution landmarks. Travelers are now awaiting further updates regarding tourism, especially under the Trump administration.