Easing Of Travel Restrictions Encourages Nearly Half of Americans to Consider Travel to Cuba, but Safety Concerns Loom Large In Travel Plans
While 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 leading travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance found 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 historic visit to Cuba this week, 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).
What would make American travelers more likely to visit Cuba?
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 (9 percent), Cuban cigars (5 percent) and family and friends (5 percent).
Of the adventurous few that are likely to visit Cuba, only 4 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 the peace of mind of having travel insurance would make them more interested in traveling to Cuba.
“With safety concerns playing a large role in Americans’ traveling decisions, it’s important for everyone to protect themselves with travel insurance,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Whether it’s a medical issue or a travel delay, a travel insurance policy from Allianz Global Assistance can provide peace of mind, especially for travel outside the U.S., where many hospitals may request cash payments in the thousands before treatment even begins. Many U.S. health insurance policies (including Medicare and Medicaid) may not cover international travel; those that do may not cover the cost of medical evacuation.”
Before offering any Allianz Travel Insurance product to a customer traveling to Cuba, travel agents must verify that all travelers included on the booking meet all of the above eligibility requirements. If a traveler does not meet one or more of the above requirements, they are not eligible to be insured on an Allianz Travel Insurance policy and must not be offered insurance.
The right travel insurance policy can provide coverage and assistance for many unforeseen or unexpected events like covered trip cancelations and delays, lost, stolen or delayed luggage, medical emergencies and more.*
Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com or like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.