In Spite All the Hoopla, US Interest in Cuba is Declining

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Cuba saw a 33 percent decline in overnight visitors from the U.S. from 2017 to 20181, and a recent annual survey* by leading travel insurance and assistance company Allianz Global Assistance found that Americans’ interest in traveling to Cuba in 2019 is still on the decline (75.5 percent are not interested in 2019; compared to 74.7 percent in 2018). That still leaves 14.6 percent of Americans – or about 48 million travelers – somewhat or very likely to plan a trip to Cuba.

This year Cuba will celebrate the 500th birthday of its capital city, Havana, and expects to receive 5.1 million global visitors as a result. Yet according to Allianz’s survey, 90 percent of Americans are unaware of the anniversary celebration this November, highlighting an opportunity for boosters of travel to Cuba. The 6.8 percent who were aware of Havana’sanniversary said it positively impacts their interest in visiting the destination, while two percent say it negatively impacts their interest in visiting.

Travel to Cuba can be confusing, especially in light of U.S. travel restrictions and advisories that often might make people think twice about visiting the island. According to the survey, a majority (63.3 percent) of Americans do not understand current travel restrictions to the island nation, which is likely preventing many from being interested in or planning a trip to the destination.

The survey also asked Americans about their preferred method of travel to the island, finding that 18.1 percent would expect to arrive by plane and 6.9 percent by cruise ship.

“With Havana making significant infrastructure improvements, including major hotel renovations, and planning cultural activities to celebrate the city’s 500th anniversary, it’s a great opportunity for Americans to visit,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Our survey indicates that Cuba scores highly for its resorts and beaches, as well as its cultural attractions, with 34 percent of Americans listing one of these as the top reason for their interest in visiting the island. When traveling internationally, the right travel protection policy may provide peace of mind in case of unexpected travel disruptions or health issues.”





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

Very Likely





Somewhat Likely





Not Likely





Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, and other travel suppliers, as well as directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit:

*Methodology: The 2019 10-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population from March 14, 2019through March 16, 2019, receiving 1,500. The methodology is explained here and a snapshot of survey findings are listed below:

1. Are you interested in traveling to Cuba?

  • 11.6% – Yes
  • 12.9% – Maybe
  • 75.5% – No

2. Did you know that Havana celebrates its 500th anniversary this year, and does that impact your interest in visiting the destination?

  • 6.8% – Yes, I know about the anniversary, and it positively impacts my interest in visiting the destination
  • 2.3% – Yes, I know about the anniversary, and it negatively impacts my interest in visiting the destination
  • 90.9% – No, I did not know about the anniversary

3. Do you understand the current travel restrictions on travel to Cuba?

  • 15% – Yes
  • 21.8% – Somewhat Familiar
  • 63.3% – No

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

  • 2.4% – Very Likely
  • 12.2% – Somewhat Likely
  • 85.4% – Not Likely

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

  • 1.1% – In the next 6 months
  • 2.6% – Sometime in the next year
  • 11.5% – Sometime in the next five years
  • 17.6% – I don’t know
  • 67.2% – I don’t feel likely to take a trip to Cuba

6. If you feel likely to take a trip to Cuba, how do you plan on getting there?

  • 18.1% – Via airplane
  • 6.9% – Via cruise ship
  • 75% – I don’t feel likely to take a trip to Cuba

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

  • 18.5% – Safety concerns
  • 7.3% – Lack of info on Cuba’s travel experiences
  • 8.1% – Fear of government
  • 4.1% – Lack of travel infrastructure
  • 2% – Lack of internet/ mobile connectivity
  • 2.7% – Lack of appropriate healthcare facilities
  • 57.2% – Something else

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

  • 17.2% – Resorts and beaches
  • 17.1% – Cultural attractions
  • 6.2% – Cuban food and Cuban rum
  • 4% – Classic 1950s American cars
  • 2% – Cuban cigars
  • 3.7% – Family/friends
  • 49.9% – Something else

9. What negative changes do you think opening Cuba to U.S. travelers has had on the country since 2014?

  • 5.6% – Rapid modernization; Cuba’s not ready for it
  • 5.9% – The next Cancun; a theme park for tourists
  • 7.2% – A loss of Cuban culture
  • 3.4% – An increase in all-inclusive resort hotels
  • 3.7% – Overcrowding of world-heritage sites
  • 27% – I don’t think negative changes have occurred
  • 47.1% – Other

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

  • 5.9% – Very concerned
  • 6.5% – Concerned
  • 9.9% – Mildly concerned
  • 26.1% – Neutral
  • 12.9% – Not concerned, it will not change
  • 38.7% – Not concerned, it will change for the better

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