Study: Americans Have Safety Concerns About Traveling to Cuba

cubaWhile almost half of Americans are now interested in traveling to Cuba following the U.S. government’s easing of travel restrictions and improved diplomatic relations, a survey by Allianz Global Assistance found that 70 percent of survey respondents were currently unlikely to do so, citing safety concerns, lack of traveler information and trepidation over visiting a communist-governed country.

The survey, conducted during President Obama’s recent historic visit to Cuba, found that 42 percent of Americans would like to visit Cuba and that the easing of travel restrictions made 35 percent more interested in the prospect of legally traveling to the country. 

But it also revealed that just 7 percent would actually be “very likely” to plan a trip to Cuba, while 22 percent were only “somewhat likely” to do so, and the remaining 70 percent were not at all likely.

The major anxieties for Americans are safety concerns (44 percent) and fear of communist government (15 percent). Others felt there is a lack of: information on Cuba’s travel experiences (18 percent), travel infrastructure (12 percent), Internet/mobile connectivity (7 percent) or appropriate healthcare facilities (6 percent).

The survey results showed that Americans want to keep their experiences inside their comfort zone, with 33 percent responding that beach resorts would make them more interested and likely to travel to Cuba. That is well ahead of Cuba’s cultural attractions (24 percent), the Cuban people (12 percent), Cuban food and rum (11 percent), classic 1950s American cars (nine percent), Cuban cigars (five percent) and family and friends (five percent).

Of the adventurous few that are likely to visit Cuba, only four percent plan on doing so in 2016, while 10 percent will do so in 2017, and the remainder don’t know. When U.S. travelers do start visiting Cuba in large numbers, more than half of Americans (55 percent) believe the country will change for the better.

With safety the top concern holding back travelers, 15 percent of Americans said having travel insurance would make them more interested in traveling to Cuba.