Americans are Less Interested in Taking a Trip to Cuba than in 2016

It’s been tough sledding for many US airlines since Cuba has been accessible to US citizens.  Originally deemed a goldmine, significant numbers of flights have been reduced to the Caribbean nation.  So it probably doesn’t come as a big surprise but an annual survey by leading travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance is reporting that Americans are less interested in taking a trip to Cuba than in 2016.

Americans are Less Interested in Taking a Trip to Cuba than in 2016

I have been telling people for years that Americans need to manage expectations on Havana and other cities in Cuba.  While I’ve never found it unsafe, it is not ready for western tourists, at least up to the standards that US tourists are accustomed.  I also think it’ll be 15-20 years until it really is ready for mass tourism.

The 2017 survey showed that 40 percent of Americans would be interested in taking a trip to Cuba (two percent fewer than in 2016) while the easing of travel restrictions made just 26 percent of Americans more interested in visiting the country (nine percent fewer than 2016). Seventy-six percent reported being unlikely to plan a trip to Cuba (six percent more than 2016).

While safety concerns (38 percent in 2017/ six percent lower than in 2016) and fear of communist government (12 percent in 2017/ three percent lower than in 2016) were major anxieties for Americans in 2016, those worries appear to be weakening this year. Instead, lack of information on Cuba’s travel experiences (22 percent in 2017/ four percent higher than in 2016), travel infrastructure (13 percent in 2017/ one percent higher than in 2016) and internet/mobile connectivity (nine percent in 2017/ two percent higher than in 2016) are the factors making Americans less interested and likely to travel to Cuba.

Resorts and beaches (32 percent/ one percent less than in 2016) remain the hot ticket items that would make Americans most interested and likely to travel to Cuba. That is still ahead of Cuba’s cultural attractions (23 percent/ one percent less than in 2016), Cuban food and rum (13 percent/ two percent higher than in 2016), the Cuban people (nine percent/ three percent less than in 2016), classic 1950s American cars (nine percent/ same as 2016), Cuban cigars (seven percent/ two percent higher than in 2016) and family and friends (seven percent/ two percent higher than in 2016).

The survey also measured sentiment and discovered that 34 percent of Americans think Cuba has changed for the better because of as a result of the U.S. having eased travel restrictions to the country.

“Our survey found that merely two percent of Americans think they will go to Cuba in the next six months, two percent believe they will make it there by the end of 2017 and 10 percent think they will go sometime in 2018,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Airlines continue to change their services to Cuba, while cruise lines are revving up sailings to the island. It will be interesting to see how this affects visitors’ interest. It may be having initial effects as Allianz’s cruise survey from earlier in the year showed that 17 percent of Americans felt the recent announcements of cruise lines adding sailings to Cuba made them more interested in visiting the country.”

I agree with what Dan said and have also said for over a year now that cruise travel to Cuba is the best way to visit Cuba for the near future.  The reason is that you can stay on the ship and the ship will organize tours and take care of the black hole of information that you find online.

While an intrepid traveler like myself will somewhat enjoy visiting before a major overhaul to tourist facilities including credit cards, internet and cell phone usage; many people will not.  To me, this is the main reason that Americans are less interested in taking a trip to Cuba than in 2016 and will be for the foreseeable future.

Disclaimer: I work as an ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and receive financial compensation.

Comments

  1. Totally agree with you, Lee. While Cuba itself has a lot to offer, it is nowhere near ready for mass tourism. So, I am not surprised that is why Americans are a bit hesitant to visit now. Hopefully, when mass tourism arrives in Cuba, it’s done so in a responsible and sustainable way this time.

  2. cuba is wonderful island to go for tourism.

  3. Cuba is a great trip to visit. Thanks.

  4. Ultimate post! Cuba is a wonderful travel trip! Thanks.

  5. Now that the embargo is gone, Cuba is not as mysterious as it used to be to Americans. That is the obvious reason why people are less interested.

  6. Cuba is high on my list! I plan to visit Cuba toward the end of this year, and I am very excited 🙂

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