· Church groups traveling to Cuba for religious reasons are allowed in
· School groups traveling to Cuba for "educational" reasons are allowed in
· American may send no more than $500 to Cuban citizens every 3 months, so long as they are not in the Castro administration or card-carrying members of the Communist party.
· US airports with proper customs and immigration facilities will be able to begin flying Cuba charter flights run by travel agencies. Previously, these charter flights were limited only to NYC, LA and Miami.
Obviously the changes above that will most effect tourism to the island are the ones allowing church groups and school groups back in, plus all the flights that could start up from other airports around the US. Although there are arguments on both sides as to whether or not all this will positively effect Cuba, those who have been in the past, when similar trips were once allowed, will likely see this is a big step forward.
For one, we know of school groupshigh school bands or college art clubsthat would travel south not just to buy some cheap cigars and take photos of old cars, but to learn Cuban culture through the local music and art traditions. And that's just a small example with which we've had personal experience. Students carry that knowledgethose experienceswhich them the rest of their lives, and who knows? One day it could be one of the kids who went down to learn the Habanera that returns to invest in dance schools or other creative infrastructure. And then of course...a departure board that says "HAVANA" on it won't be as shocking as it is now.