Cuba Travel Trends

A Year Later: Fewer Americans Are Considering Travel To Cuba

Allianz Global Assistance's Survey Shows Safety Concerns and Fear of Communism are Beginning to Fade, But Travelers are Needing More Travel Information, Infrastructure and Internet Accessibility
Habana Vieja, Near the Malecón, Havana, Cuba - Unsplash
Fewer Americans Are Considering Travel To Cuba

Travel Industry Wire

A year since the U.S. government's easing of travel restrictions to Cuba, an annual survey* by Allianz Global Assistance is reporting that Americans are less interested in taking a trip to the country than in 2016. 

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." 

The survey also found that 15 percent of Americans believe the peace of mind of having travel insurance would make them more interested in traveling to Cuba.

*Methodology: The 2017 10-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population from April 11, 2017 through April 13, 2017, receiving 1,514 responses. The methodology is explained here and a snapshot of survey findings are listed below:  

Response

2016

2017

% change

Does the easing of travel restrictions on travel to Cuba make you more or less interested in visiting the country?

Did the easing of restrictions last year on travel to Cuba make you more or less interested in visiting the country?

More Interested

35%

26%

-9%

Less Interested

8%

7%

-1%

No Change

57%

67%

+10%

After the U.S. Government's recent announcement easing travel restrictions to Cuba, would you like to travel to Cuba?

A year after the U.S. Government's easing of travel restrictions to Cuba in 2016, would you be interested in taking a trip to Cuba?

Yes, I would like to travel to Cuba

42%

40%

-2%

No, I would not like to travel to Cuba

58%

60%

+2%

How likely are you to actually plan a trip to Cuba?

Very Likely

7%

5%

-2%

Somewhat Likely

22%

19%

-3%

Not Likely

70%

76%

+6%

If you feel likely to take a trip to Cuba, when do you think you will go?

In the next 6 months

2%

2%

0%

(Within the same year)

Sometime in 2016 – 2%

Sometime in 2017 – 2%

0%

(Sometime in the next year)

Sometime in 2017 – 10%

Sometime in 2018 – 10%

0%

I don't know

34%

28%

-6%

I don't feel likely to take a trip to Cuba

53%

59%

+6%

What makes you less interested/likely to travel to Cuba?

Safety concerns

44%

38%

-6%

Lack of information on Cuba's travel experiences

18%

22%

+4%

Fear of communist government

15%

12%

-3%

Lack of travel infrastructure

12%

13%

+1%

Lack of internet/ mobile connectivity

7%

9%

+2%

Lack of appropriate healthcare facilities

6%

6%

0%

What would make you most interested/likely to travel to Cuba?

Resorts and beaches

33%

32%

-1%

Cultural attractions

24%

23%

-1%

The Cuban people

12%

9%

-3%

Cuban food and Cuban rum

11%

13%

+2%

Classic 1950s American cars

9%

9%

0%

Cuban cigars

5%

7%

+2%

Family/friends

5%

7%

+2%

Do you expect Cuba to change for the better or worse as a result of the U.S. easing travel restrictions to the country?

Do you think Cuba has changed for the better or worse as a result of the U.S. having eased travel restrictions to the country last year?

Better

55%

34%

N/A

Worse

8%

6%

N/A

No Change

38%

60%

N/A

What negative changes do you expect opening Cuba to U.S. travelers will have on the country?

What negative changes do you think opening Cuba to U.S. travelers has had on the country over the last year?

I don't expect any negative changes / I don't think negative changes have occurred

39%

52%

N/A

Rapid modernization; Cuba's not ready for it

13%

10%

N/A

The next Cancun; a theme park for tourists

13%

10%

N/A

A loss of Cuban culture

11%

10%

N/A

An increase in all-inclusive resort hotels

10%

5%

N/A

Worse lives for Cuban people

7%

8%

N/A

Overcrowding of world-heritage sites

7%

6%

N/A

Are you concerned the influx of American travelers over the years will ruin the timeless feeling of the country?

Very concerned

7%

7%

0%

Concerned

12%

8%

-4%

Mildly concerned

19%

17%

-2%

Neutral

29%

29%

0%

Not concerned, it will not change

14%

14%

0%

Not concerned, it will change for the better

20%

25%

+5%

Would the peace of mind of having travel insurance change your interest in traveling to Cuba?

Yes, more interested with travel insurance

14%

15%

+1%

No, it doesn't address my concerns

45%

39%

-6%

Unchanged, I don't want to travel to Cuba

41%

46%

+5%

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. 



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