Saturday, July 11, 2015

Travel companies set their sights on Cuba

From cruise lines to ferries to airlines, businesses are getting in line to shepherd masses of Americans to the long-forbidden island of Cuba.

Many hope to benefit quickly under new U.S. rules that allow "purposeful" trips such as humanitarian or educational missions without a license. Others are preparing for what they see as the inevitable day when the U.S. allows open travel.

The latest to act was Carnival Corp., which announced Tuesday that it will begin cruises to the island next May for cultural exchanges. But so many more businesses are excited that South Florida attorney Pedro Freyre calls it "a tsunami of interest."

His team at Cuba Practice Group at law firm Akerman LLP has visited the island at least 10 times this year, mainly to accompany clients looking to develop travel-related business. He plans four more trips this summer alone — more than his three-member team made all of last year.

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