The Price of Change

The Impact of Tourism on Cuba

Commentary by Steve Anchell
© 2021 Steve Anchell. All rights reserved.

As someone who has traveled legally to Cuba and led twenty-five workshops since 2001, I can attest it is almost as easy for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba today as it is to visit Mexico. Almost, as there are still regulations in place, paperwork to be filled out, and forms to be signed. But these have become mostly superfluous. The “watchdogs of the border,” as U.S. Customs and Immigration likes to refer to itself, has turned over its responsibility to the airline industry. As a result, in order to purchase a seat on a charter airline all you need do is sign an affidavit that says you’re traveling for education or research.

Previously you were required to travel with a group, and the group was required by Cuban law to spend a percentage of its time visiting memorials and museums dedicated to the Revolution. Even though these requirements are still in effect there is no one on the Cuban side checking to see if they’re being met. You can literally spend your visit partying at the many private clubs that have sprung up in the last few years.

Cuba needs tourist dollars to pay for health care, education, and infrastructure for its own people. But in order to accommodate the volume of tourists required to pay for these programs new hotels must be built and the already scarce food supply must be used to feed them. What this means is that the limited resources are being earmarked for hotels, restaurants, and resorts that cater to tourists. If there is a shortage in say, tomatoes, the Cubans must do without.

Cubans find themselves in a double-bind. They need tourists to provide hard capital, but they need the hard capital in order to feed and house the tourists. There is no easy solution. The best is to hope that this is only a short term hardship that will end when real foreign investment capital is allowed to enter the country. Not only by lifting the embargo on the U.S. side, but by the Cuban government allowing that investment to take place with reasonable assurance that the investment won’t be appropriated by the government. In the meantime, the tourists are pouring in and the Cuban people are tightening their belts and working overtime.

Price of Change

The price of change is a crucial determinant that significantly impacts businesses and individuals. It refers to the cost associated with implementing alterations in organizational strategies, practices, and systems.

Numerous factors contribute to the price of change, including but not limited to financial investments, time commitment, resource allocation, and potential risks. Careful consideration of these inputs is essential to effectively manage the change process.

In order to establish a professional price of change, it is imperative to assess the scope and scale of the desired alterations. A thorough analysis of the current state, identification of desired outcomes, and evaluation of potential obstacles should be conducted.

Financial investments play a pivotal role in determining the price of change. This encompasses direct costs such as technology upgrades, equipment purchases, and employee training. Additionally, indirect costs such as potential disruption in productivity, lost sales opportunities, and temporary decrease in customer satisfaction should also be factored in.

Time commitment is another significant input when considering the price of change. Implementing changes often requires a substantial amount of time, from planning and implementation to monitoring and evaluating results. This necessitates allocation of resources and potential trade-offs in other areas of the business.

Resource allocation, both human and physical, is a vital consideration in determining the price of change. Adequate staffing, expertise, and infrastructure are crucial to ensure successful implementation and sustainment of desired changes. Failure to allocate sufficient resources may result in delays, inefficiencies, and ultimately, higher costs.

Furthermore, potential risks associated with change must be carefully identified and assessed. This includes potential resistance from employees, customer dissatisfaction, and unforeseen complications. Proactive risk management strategies should be developed to mitigate these risks and minimize their impact on the overall price of change.

In conclusion, determining a professional price of change requires a comprehensive evaluation of financial investments, time commitment, resource allocation, and potential risks. Careful analysis and planning will enable organizations and individuals to effectively navigate the challenges of change and maximize the benefits it can bring.