There’s a good deal of pent-up demand for American travel to Cuba. However, since government relaxations were announced, travel to Cuba has been heavy on Americans’ travel radar.
Online searches for U.S. travel to the Caribbean country shot up 184% in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2014. According to data found in Google trends, the top states searching for information on Cuban travel are Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California.
With air travel accounting for 28% of Cuba-related searches as opposed to the 6% of searches related to hotels and accommodations, it’s possible that travelers are trying to wrap their minds around air booking policies from U.S. to Cuba travel.
While the interest in Cuba travel is growing, the regulations on traveling to the island have only slightly eased the process. Americans are only able to travel to Cuba without a specific license if the trip falls under any of the 12 relatively broad categories, which include family visits, journalistic activity, professional research or meetings, humanitarian projects and official business of the U.S. or foreign governments.
Despite the complexities, travelers are pouncing on the opportunity to embrace the Cuban culture in person—and travel agents are expected to have the documentation process mastered.
We’ve been researching these requirements to find a way to make this process easier for the agent and painless for the traveler. If you’re a Sabre Connected agent, you can add the Cuba Traveler Certification capability to the Sabre Red Workspace to simplify the air booking process.
When agents book an itinerary that includes air travel to Cuba, this capability sends a notification that allows them access to the required ASTA Cuba travel certification form, returns the needed data to the transporting airlines, emails the certification form to travelers for their records and retains these records for five years.
As a plus, this capability interacts with the Sabre Travel Marketplace to facilitate accurate input of the required passenger details to fulfill the U.S. government’s documentation requirements and will pre-populate the ASTA certification form for quick output.
As the 14th most popular Caribbean destination (a five-place jump from last December), it’s safe to say Cuba is a hot travel spot. Travelers are geared up for the improved Cuban experience, and now agents can be ready for the next big travel destination, too.
Add the Cuba Traveler Certification capability to your workspace for free in the Sabre Red App Centre today.
View the official press release.