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Local Tour Guide To Adjust Under New Cuban Policy

Posted at 7:42 PM, Jul 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-01 23:46:33-04

A local woman who started a tour guide company said she has been getting calls from people concerned about traveling to Cuba after President Donald Trump's recent announcement on his new Cuban policy.

Sheyla Paz founded Your Tour Guide to Cuba one year ago as a way to connect Americans with her culture.

So far she has guided three trips with a few more expected for next year. 

While the new Cuban policy does not draw out major changes, it will impact the way Americans travel to the country. 

Under the policy, tourists are prohibited to conduct a "person-to-person" trip and will have to pursue schedules of "educational exchange activities."

"They must go in a group in a much tighter itinerary, and a representative from the company must go with them," Paz told NewsChannel 5. "I know a lot of people that have purchased a ticket and go alone and explore, but that is no longer the freedom."

Paz has dealt directly with locals to set up lodging, food, and transportation. While the policy does not directly affect business, it does affect how she plans future trips.

"Now it has to be very detailed per hour on what they're doing during the day. Since I'm from there, I probably would want to have time for myself with my family but you can't do that. You have to stick with the plan and be with the people," she added.

 

 

Paz was in Cuba when President Trump made the announcement. She said many view the new policy as a step backwards. 

She has been encouraging those who are interested in flying to the island nation to book a flight as soon as possible before the new changes completely go into effect. 

"Some people have booked it and are having second thoughts whether to go or not. Now is the best time to go because once the rules are implemented they really have to go by the rules," Paz emphasized.