Fewer Americans Looking To Visit Cuba

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Fewer Americans Looking To Visit Cuba


The U.S. government eased travel restrictions to Cuba about a year ago, and one survey indicates that American interest in vacationing there may be down this year versus last.

According to Allianz Global Assistance, 76% of Americans said they were “not likely” to travel to Cuba this year, up from 70% in 2016. Conversely, 40% of Americans said they would be interested in taking a trip to Cuba (two percentage points fewer than in 2016).

Safety concerns (38%), lack of information on Cuba’s travel experiences (22%), travel infrastructure (13%) and fear of the communist government (12%) are some of the anxieties for Americans. Allianz did see safety concerns decline this year, down from 44% in 2016.

Resorts and beaches (32%) remain the hot ticket items that would make Americans most interested in travel to Cuba. That is ahead of Cuba’s cultural attractions (23%), Cuban food and rum (13%), the Cuban people (9%), and Cuban cigars (7%).

Several airlines recently announced cuts in routes and flights, because they say demand hasn’t been matching capacity. But other airlines, and cruise lines, are still bullish on Cuba.

Steve Powers, at Hidden Treasure Tours in Long Beach, NY, said interest in travel to Cuba is still strong at his agency. “I have had four or five bookings in the past month and a half, and am working on four bookings right now. Some of this interest might be a result of the concern over whether the new administration is going to have a change of heart about engagement with Cuba, and maybe close things down. Perhaps travelers feel the window to visit Cuba may be open only for a limited time and they want to get there.”

“We’re seeing more interest this year than last,” said Nanci Londeree, president of Windermere Travel in Orlando, FL. “A lot of people are booking cruises to Cuba.”

Many news agencies reported in April that several controversial proposals were being circulated within the White House reflecting Trump campaign rhetoric to “reverse” pro-engagement measures approved by the Obama Administration.

“I am confident that President Trump will treat Cuba like the dictatorship it is and that our policy going forward will reflect the fact that it is not in the national interest of the United States for us to be doing business with the Cuban military,” Senator Marco Rubio was quoted as saying in one news report.

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

Powers believes the opening of Cuba travel to Americans has resulted in improved relations between the two countries, and a destination from which agents can profit. “We have clients coming back saying ‘This was the best trip of my life,’ ” Powers said. This word-of-mouth momentum is helping him grow his Cuba sales.

The 2017 10-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population between April 11 and April 13, 2017, receiving 1,514 responses.

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

I do think there are possibilities for traveler advisors to make money doing domestic trips. I charge a planning fee for my time and expertise, and then book commissionable hotels and activities that meet the client’s needs.

Terri Weeks

Daily Top List

Best Resorts in Montana

1. The Resort at Paws Up

2. Blue Damsel Lodge on Rock Creek

3. Triple Creek Ranch

4. The Ranch at Rock Creek

5. Rainbow Ranch Lodge

Source: The Crazy Tourist

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=46d9854c-8d33-e911-b4aa-782bcb66a2f2

Give a Heads-Up, Get a Leg-Up in Business

Harness your knowledge, share your tips, and leave your clients wondering what else you know that they don’t.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Eurail Pass Hits 60 Years
Eurail Pass Hits 60 Years

The European rail system is offering price reductions this year and travels to more countries than ever.

How Tour Operators are Combating Overtourism
How Tour Operators are Combating Overtourism

Off-peak season discounts and itineraries to lesser-known destinations in popular countries are helping to spread out tourist crowds over the course of the year.

Heritage Tours Launches Spotlight Series of ‘Celebrity Life’ Tours
Heritage Tours Launches Spotlight Series of ‘Celebrity Life’ Tours

A specialist in private travel arrangements unleashes its destination management skills on immersive small group tours.

International Women’s Day: Two Tour Operators Striving for Change
International Women’s Day: Two Tour Operators Striving for Change

The initiatives give women who live in challenged regions the training and opportunities to work, make money, and contribute to their local communities.

Globus Family Launches ‘Your Way’ Campaign to Promote Product Synergy
Globus Family Launches ‘Your Way’ Campaign to Promote Product Synergy

The classic tour operator is making it easier to combine its various travel styles and products into a single booking.

Pleasant Holidays Adds New Ship from American Queen
Pleasant Holidays Adds New Ship from American Queen

The veteran vacation packager is now offering all four paddlewheel riverboats of the American Queen Steamboat Company.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: The Northern Lights of Finland