Photo: A&K Suspends Travels to Cuba
The luxury travel tour company, Abercrombie & Kent (A&K), were one of the first organizations to take advantage of President Obama’s lifting of certain travel restrictions to Cuba. They quickly affiliated themselves with the Foundation for Caribbean Studies so that their trips would meet the ‘people-to-people’ requirement.
The people-to-people travel requirement only allows for trips where Americans engage Cuban people directly and “support their desire to freely determine their country’s future” and is simply not tourism. The concept was developed under President Clinton but was shut down under President Bush who saw these altruistic trips more as veiled tourism.
It appears that the Foundation for Caribbean Studies had only been in business for 11 days when it aligned itself with A&K and nonetheless was issued a travel license to Cuba. The state department startied questioning the relationship between A&K and the foundation and A&K decided it was best to suspend future trips to Cuba until further notice. The 13 tours to Cuba A&K had organized had all been sold out.
Regardless of A&K’s decision many churches, universities and cultural institutions continue to travel to Cuba since January 28 when President Obama reinstated the people-to-people travel policy.