Despite the hype, the travel industry will continue its expansion into Cuba, though the journey may be tougher for some.
President Donald Trump announced a policy shift on Friday that would prohibit solo trips to Cuba, but would allow group trips to continue. More than a year ago, former President Barack Obama loosened restrictions on travel to Cuba , allowing individuals and groups to go to the island nation for educational purposes.
One observer told CNBC on Tuesday that the change amounted to a clarification of existing policy.
"All the Trump administration is saying is, 'there's one thing we're going to change, and that is we're no longer going to permit individual travelers to purport to be traveling to Cuba under the education exemption,'" said Harry Clark, a partner at Orrick and chair of the law firm's international trade and compliance group.
The changes Trump announced will allow cruises and airlines to continue normal activity, but they could dampen hotel development plans. They could make traveling to Cuba more difficult for passengers, who would be subject to audit by the Treasury Department to ensure their trips to Cuba fall into one of the 12 acceptable purposes.
The full scope of the new policy remains to be seen, as the Treasury and Commerce Departments will release precise regulations within 30 days. Still, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise lines expressed satisfaction that Trump's policy will allow them to continue sailing to Cuba.