Soon after Pope Francis landed in Cuba last weekend, he urged the U.S. and Cuban governments to further reconcile. “We have witnessed an event which filled us with hope: the process of normalizing relations between two peoples following years of estrangement,” the pontiff said.
President Obama already relaxed the 55-year-old Cuban embargo and announced last week a raft of other measures intending to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. But, the U.S.-Cuba rapprochement has some practical implications that go far beyond geopolitics.
Cuba, a tropical island famous for its sandy beaches, colonial architecture, and rum cocktails, could soon be available to widespread American tourism for the first time in over five decades. This development is likely to pose not only challenges for Cuba but also for the Caribbean tourism industry. Can other Caribbean islands—most notably beleaguered Puerto Rico—handle the competition?
Although tourists face restrictions to enter Cuba…
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