So much for visiting the country before it's "ruined" by tourism.
The number of US tourists flocking to Cuba since travel restrictions were relaxed back in January has skyrocketed. Herds of travelers are cramming themselves into over-packed tour buses so they can see the country “before it’s ruined.” Except, they already have ruined it — good job America.
Though US citizens face a number of restrictions when traveling to Cuba — and tourism isn’t fully legal quite yet — the island is already overwhelmed by the growing tourism industry.
Currently, US citizens are only allowed to travel to Cuba if their visit falls under one of twelve governmentally approved categories. Unfortunately, at this time, drinking beer on a beach is not one of the approved reasons for travel. But that hasn’t stopped people from doing it.
Even before travel ban was lifted, American tourism in Cuba was up 77 percent in 2015. That’s a huge increase in the number of gringos coming to look at old taxis and drink beer and the country is struggling to keep up.
America's love of boozing has nearly run Cuba dry, however, and the country cant keep up with the rapidly growing demand for beer. Now there’s a severe beer shortage on the island and this has the largest brewery in Cuba, Bucanero, scrambling for a solution.
Bucanero produces the four most popular beers in Cuba and has stated that they’ll need to open a new factory to be able to keep up with the rate at which Americans like to drink. They plan to produce 19 million cases of beer this year, but wont be able to keep up with demand until they open a new facility. In the meantime, the company will be importing 3 million cases of beer from the Dominican Republic to cover some of the unmet lust for beer.
Proving just how quickly American tourists can “ruin” something, it’s now not uncommon for local bars and restaurants on the island to be out of beer and not able to restock their supply. So if you are going to go to Cuba, maybe pack some cervezas in your suitcase. Or preferably drink some local rum and let the beer industry recover a little. Just please don’t go overboard and drink all the rum, too.