News and Facts about Cuba

What 59% of Americans Get Wrong About Cuba

What 59% of Americans Get Wrong About Cuba
by Anne VanderMey @vandermy MARCH 31, 2016, 12:32 PM EDT

It’s not the communism that’s going to ruin your trip.

So you want to go to Cuba, but you’re worried about crime and the
insidious specter of communism that hangs over the island?

You’re joined by a surprisingly high percentage of Americans, according
to a new survey released on Wednesday by insurance provider
Allianz Global Assistance.

Allianz’s poll found that while 42% of people would like to travel to
Cuba, only 7% actually plan on it. What’s holding them back? Survey
respondents say their top concerns are safety (44%) and communism (15%).

Fortunately, Americans have it all wrong. With a rate of fewer than 5
homicides per 100,000 people, Cuba is safer than any other Caribbean
destination except for Grenada, according to U.N. statistics from 2011
(the latest available data). By comparison, New Orleans had a rate of
about 39 homicides per 100,000 people last year and St. Louis had 50.

There’s also not much to worry about in the way of communism. Sure,
there are more statues and dramatic paintings of Cuban generals than you
might expect, but the U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security says risks of
political are “low.”

However, there are real risks in traveling to Cuba; they just tend to be
more mundane. After more than 50 years of isolation, the one-time
mecca has become a creature-comfort desert. Tourists would be
better off worrying not about personal safety but about punitive
exchange rates, hotels with negligible water pressure, and 50-year-old
air conditioning systems. There’s also a real danger of going into a
bathroom and finding that there is no toilet paper or toilet seat. Not
to mention that, thanks to the choking fumes they spew over Cuba’s
picturesque boulevards, classic cars aren’t nearly as cool as you’d
think they’d be.

The Allianz survey found that a very prudent 12% of people surveyed were
concerned about travel infrastructure in Cuba. Indeed, the island’s
largest only has one runway, and American credit cards aren’t
accepted. Another 7% of respondents fretted about connectivity.
That’s a real issue, too: travelers can find Wi-Fi at hotels, but
there’s no cellular data in the country. A far more pressing concern
than crime and communism? Spending your whole tropical vacation away
from Instagram.

Source: 59% of Americans Are Concerned Cuba Travel Is Unsafe – Fortune –
fortune.com/2016/03/31/cuba-travel-concerns-americans/

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