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Cuba Eases Travel Restrictions: What Does This Mean for Travelers?

Steve Cohen

When Cuba travel restrictions were eased earlier this year, opening up access to the beautiful country, America’s ears perked up. According to a recent survey conducted by MMGY Global, 19% of U.S. adults would consider taking a vacation to Cuba in the next two years. Among those, Millennials expressed the greatest interest in visiting the country, at 27%.

Americans are jumping at the chance to visit the country of Cuba now that they have the opportunity to do so. According to the Miami Herald, just two months after President Barack Obama first announced that travel restrictions would be eased, tour operators reported that booking to the country shot up dramatically.

There is a sense of urgency to visit Cuba from American travelers. Half of all Americans desire to learn more about the history and culture of the country, while nearly half have a great interest in traveling to a destination that was previously inaccessible to Americans. Many U.S. adults are also eager to visit Cuba for personal reasons, with 17% wanting to explore their heritage and 14% wishing to visit family.

But what does this mean for Cuba’s competitors? Caribbean destinations in particular are likely to face immediate, strong competition as greater access to Cuba becomes available. With fewer travel restrictions, Cuba appears to be drawing interest away from other island destinations. Specifically, our survey found that 46% of U.S. travelers who are likely to travel to a Caribbean destination during the next two years would consider changing their vacation plans to visit Cuba instead.

For more information about these insights, or to obtain a copy of the full travelhorizons™ report, visit our research page.

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