Millennials looking for travel eyeing Cuba, research shows

Posted: 30-Nov-15 12:09

A recent online survey by Harris Poll revealed that about half of the millennial men (aged between 18 and 34) in the US are interested in visiting Cuba after the travel embargo is lifted. Cuba appeals to the on-the-fly travel style of this generation.

Millennials looking for travel eyeing Cuba, research shows

According to an online survey recently conducted by Harris Poll, a new, under-exploited market segment is emerging for the Cuban tourism market in America. This is the age group between 18 and 34 years, also known as the "millennial generation".

The research was conducted on behalf of Switchfly Inc., a company that does web-based marketing for some of the biggest travel brands in the world. Of the people interviewed, 37% said they were interested in visiting Cuba. Of these respondents, 49% were millennial men, 43% were millennial women.

Though they will not be able to visit until the travel embargo is fully lifted, the CEO of Switchfly, Daniel Farrar, is excited about the possibilities that the thawing relations between the US and Cuba is presenting, Mr Farrar explained:

"Cuba is super cool it's opening up as a new destination for most Americans who in the last two or three generations never had the opportunity to go to Cuba because of all the trade embargoes associated with the country."

He thinks they are enamoured with Cuba's image as a scenic locale stuck in a time warp; a country of dazzling colonial architecture and vintage vehicles from the 50s and 60s.

The statistic is particularly exciting in light of the fact that population of millennials currently stands at 83.1 million, just about 25% of the country's population. It's not by chance that Cuba is more appealing to this age bracket than to the baby boomers whose numbers stand at just over 75 million.

Cuba is a destination that sparks a sense of adventure and whose attractions are still relatively unknown. These characteristics appeal to a generation who, Farrar says, are less keen on traditional resorts than destinations off the usual tourist beat. Cuba fits right in with the millennials who eschew planned itineraries for random experiences.

Guided by mobile apps, online reviews and social media, they would rather find their own way than leave the planning to travel agencies. Besides discovering new places and cultures on their own, this category of traveller is also keen on volunteering while on their excursion.

Of those millennials who expressed an interest in visiting, 44% said they wanted to go as soon as the travel restrictions were lifted. They want to get the authentic Cuban experience before it is "spoilt" by excessive tourism.


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