Cuban Travel Changes – The impact of American tourism in Cuba
Bottom Line: The Trump administration is ending American cruising to the island. Anyone with booked travel plans is grandfathered in but no additional plans will be accepted as of today. Just over two years ago I brought you the following story that speaks to the greater issue of American tourism in Cuba.
A little more than a year into the ability for Americans to freely come and go to Cuba is this research from Allianz Global Assistance showing that fewer Americans are interested in going to Cuba. One of the more common reasons cited is instructive as well.
According to Allianz only 2% of Americans are seriously considering traveling to Cuba this year. That's the same figure as last year but perhaps more instructive...60% of Americans won't consider traveling to Cuba. That's up from 58% a year prior. Conventional wisdom would generally suggest that the more normal travel to Cuba seems, the more people who'd become open to doing so. That's why it's odd that it's already trending the other way.
The most common reason cited to Allianz is the repression of the Cuban people. This is music to my ears. From the onset of this conversation I've pointed out what would happen and sadly has happened as a result of Americans visiting Cuba and spending money in the country. As I've indicated on several occasions, the average state mandated income in the Communist country is $25...per month!
That means that whether you're a doctor or entry level worker you earn $25 per month. The government keeps all else for itself. Prior to the enabling of American tourism and the influx of cash we were seeing pockets of opportunity develop where Cubans in certain circumstances, IE business owners, were able to earn additional money. At the peak of the cracking of the fiscal condition of the government in recent years – isolated reports of household incomes up to $2,000 had been reported. However, as the government was able to gain additional fiscal strength it began to revert to its typical ways – often seizing businesses that had begun to provide for its owners and employees. That’s reflected in a separate story I’m revisiting today. The Profit in Cuba.