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

A year since the U.S. government’s easing of travel restrictions to Cuba, an annual survey* by leading 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. 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.

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. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com

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*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 USA 

Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company.  We provide insurance to over 25 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. 

To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS. 

** - Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans.  Plans are available only to U.S. residents.  Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions.  For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy.  Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A-" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on state of residence.  Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company.  AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company.  The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company.  Non-insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.

Media Contact: Daniel Durazo

804.673.7175

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Allianz Global Assistance USA As a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company, we are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. Serving 35 million U.S. customers annually, we may cover non-refundable trip expenses including covered trip cancellations and delays, as well as emergency medical treatment and transportation and more. Visit AllianzTravelInsurance.com to learn more. We also offer Allianz Tuition Insurance at AllianzTuitionInsurance.com, as well as other consumer specialty insurance products through our partners.

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