License to operate motorcycle tours of Cuba awarded to MotoDiscovery
MotoDiscovery, a Texas-based tour company known as a pioneer in cutting-edge adventure travel by motorcycle, has been granted a special license to operate tours to Cuba for US motorcycle touring enthusiasts. The license, (#CT-19070), issued by the US Department of Treasury through the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), reflects a recent and long-awaited development in US government foreign policy and finally makes motorcycle travel to Cuba a reality for US citizens previously denied the legal authority to explore Cuba on two wheels. Soon the sounds of motorcycle engines will be harmonizing with the pulsating rhythms of Cuba’s unmistakable musical beat. This is a dance that the adventurous USA motorcycle rider has been waiting for.
The license grants MotoDiscovery the authority to operate “people-to-people, non-academic educational exchange” programs to Cuba, with the rationale that U.S. travelers can become ambassadors for democratic change on the island through increased contact between the Cuban citizenry and their yanqui neighbors. A comprehensive selection of 15 day and 10 day tours are scheduled to begin November of 2012 and carrying through March of 2013.
“Cuba is a perfect complement to other MotoDiscovery destinations such as South America, the Middle East, Europe and the Indian sub- continent.” says MotoDiscovery founder Skip Mascorro, who for over thirty years has carved his niche in the world of motorcycle adventure travel, sharing riding destinations often known for difficulty of access and intrigue, not necessarily for mass tourism appeal. “Motorcycle touring to exotic locations provides a more active and participatory kind of travel experience. Unconventional travel destinations such as Cuba are far more rewarding when accomplished on a motorcycle,” adds Mascorro. (More After the Poll)
Pushing aside political controversies, “No matter what the policies of governments may be, at the ‘people to people’ level, there is this universal mutual respect, curiosity and an inherent desire to be welcoming. This is a human character we‘ve experienced in some of the most unlikely regions of the world and, to our pleasure, with people that can be wrongly perceived to be hostile,” claims Mascorro, who says that the gracious Cuban demeanor will quickly have visitors seeing beyond politics and experiencing a beautiful land and a fascinating culture inextricably tied to that of the USA.
To help facilitate the creation of this unique experience, MotoDiscovery has called on travel writer/photo-journalist Christopher P. Baker, author of the two-time national award-winning travelogue Mi Moto Fidel, Motorcycling Castro’s Cuba and numerous highly acclaimed travel guide books to Cuba, including Moon Handbook Cuba and National Geographic Traveler Cuba”. Baker – the Lowell Thomas Award Travel Journalist of the Year 2008 — is considered the world’s foremost authority on travel and tourism in Cuba. He has escorted numerous tours to Cuba and other destinations on behalf of National Geographic and other organizations.
Baker, who hails from Yorkshire, England and now resides in California, will help launch the MotoDiscovery Cuba tour program, joining the staff team on select dates and sharing with tour participants his unequaled wealth of knowledge about Cuba, its history, people and colorful culture. “Chris and I connected back in 1995. He was attempting to get his R100GS BMW motorcycle to Havana to begin explorations to write Mi Moto Fidel,” recalls Mascorro, who says that brief encounter seeded the idea of one day working together to run tours there. “We’ve been patient. Obtaining the crucial legal government license has been very involved, but now the window is open and we are ready. With Chris contributing in development of a magical itinerary and route and the necessary legal tools in hand, this collaboration guarantees an authentic kind of Cuban experience that promises to be second to none. Baker’s knowledge is matched only by his passion for the wonder of travel and all things Cubana — a perfect fit for MotoDiscovery.”
The tour itineraries will be designed to be consistent with the regulations outlined by the Office of Foreign Assets Control adhering to the “people to people” theme, a critical point in order to be compliant with the regulations and responsibilities that come with having the prestigious license. Skip Mascorrro says, “the requirement of having meaningful interaction with the people of Cuba will be central to our agenda. In fact we intend on exceeding those requirements because since our beginnings in 1981, such exchange has always been a core value at MotoDiscovery. It’s in our favor that this is naturally accomplished when groups are seeing the world by motorcycle. The bike is an open invitation that screams…’let’s talk..let’s get to know one another’. It is really amazing!” Activities that enable US citizens to interact with the Cuban people at all levels of societies will be included daily.
Want to know more about riding Cuba with MotoDiscovery? Contact MotoDiscovery 1-800-233-0564 or email email@example.com MotoDiscovery Cuba Tours
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