Interest in traveling to Cuba spikes after Obama's announcement

Interest in traveling to Cuba spikes after Obama's announcement

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Terry Hurley, a pharmacist at Dinglewood Pharmacy in Columbus, has reservations to travel to Cuba and will make the eight day trip in April 2015.

"It's on my bucket list, it really is. I love the old cars, I love the music, I love chocolate," says Hurley.

Hurley is not the only one excited to make the trip south, according to Trip Advisor, U.S. site traffic to Cuba spiked nearly 300 percent on Wednesday, December 17, compared to the previous day.

However, don't book that flight just yet.

Currently, U.S. citizens who want to visit Cuba have limited options.

There are 12 categories of people who are allowed to visit Cuba, they include; close relatives of Cubans, educational purposes, those traveling on official government business, those on mission trips and journalists.

"I'm not political, but I think the only people who are really suffering are the people there because we were told what to expect from the local people and it was just very sad that they weren't going to be able to talk with us or mingle, but maybe it won't be that way," explains Hurley.

According to the Associated Press, 170,000 Americans visited Cuba legally last year.

The typical cost of traveling around the island it $4,000 to $5,000; however, experts say the steep prices could drop with the loosening restrictions.

Hurley says he just wants to Cuba, before it becomes commercialized.

"It is just something I want to see before Walmart gets down there and screws everything up," says Hurley.

President Obama has told ABC News he is open to visiting the communist country before leaving office.

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