Coming and Going: Orbitz Urges Unrestricted Travel to Cuba
ANNALS OF INDUSTRY
When the Obama administration announced last month that it was easing restrictions on travel to Cuba, there was an initial flurry of cheering followed by a "Huh?" After all, the new rules allow only Americans with family members in Cuba to travel there, "family members" meaning those with three degrees of family relationship (for example, second cousins) or fewer. The development appears to have only increased public support for a complete lifting of the travel ban, which one survey finds 67 percent of Americans want.
Jumping into the debate is the online travel company Orbitz, which on Monday launched the Web site Open Cuba (http:/
"We've taken the position that Americans should have the freedom to travel anywhere in the world," said Orbitz spokesman Brian Hoyt, noting that the U.S. government imposes no restrictions on travel to North Korea, Iran and "other places where governments don't see eye-to-eye."
Thousands have signed the Open Cuba petition, according to Hoyt, who said that Orbitz is hoping to play a major role in what he described as a grass-roots movement. "We're . . . inviting others in the travel industry and Cuban American groups as well," he said.
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Reporting: Scott Vogel
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