Global Exchange is proud to announce the launch of RESPECT: Responsible & Ethical Cuba Travel, an organization dedicated to ensuring travel to Cuba respects the people, culture and natural environment of the island.

The announcement in December 2014 by President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro to open relations between our two nations, and the subsequent opening of travel restrictions, has resulted in a level of tourism not seen to the island in over 50 years.

While Global Exchange applauds the opening of relations, the rapid growth in tourism to the island has placed strain on the existing infrastructure and poses threats to Cuba’s cultural heritage, environment, society and economy.

Since 1990 Global Exchange has offered hundreds of Reality Tours and facilitated travel for thousands of American citizens to Cuba.

We are deeply committed to the idea that travel to the island must respect the Cuban people, its culture and environment.

As a founding member of RESPECT, Global Exchange played a key role in bringing U.S. nonprofits and travel organizations together with their Cuban counterparts to practice and promote ethical and socially responsible travel to Cuba.

The 17 Principles issued by the 65 founding organizations and some 35 individual committed travelers, include the commitment to “respect all Cubans, without regard to skin color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, political persuasion, abilities or economic status.”

Those interested should write to