A year since the U.S. government’s easing of travel restrictions to Cuba, an annual survey by travel insurance provider 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, Allianz said. 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, according to the Allianz report. 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 in a written release. “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 that having travel insurance would make them more interested in traveling to Cuba.