A flash of excitement about travel to Cuba after the country opened its borders to the U.S. in 2016 for the first time in decades may have lost some of its shine.
Americans are less interested in travel to Cuba this year than they were in 2016, a survey from insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance found. Some 76% of the 1,514 respondents said they were not likely to plan a trip to Cuba in 2017 compared to 70% in 2016. Only 2% of those surveyed planned to visit Cuba in the next six months or by the end of 2017, the same as 2016 despite a projected increase in travelers from the country’s ministry of tourism. It also found that 60% of Americans said “would not like to travel to Cuba” compared to just 58% in 2016.
Although some of these shifts may be expected after the initial flurry of interest, flight trends also suggest demand is lower than initially expected, said Brian Sumers, an airline analyst at travel site Skift. “When the country opened up, just about every U.S. airline was obsessed with getting as many routes into Havana as it possibly could — they thought it was going to be a gravy train,” he said. “Now, as I understand it, a lot of the flights are empty.”