Cuba: The Chinese Can Have It

Over on the LonelyPlanet forums lavidaloca44 discovered a couple of articles about the emerging opening of Cuba to American tourists that seem to indicate Americans aren’t as interested in visiting this particular Caribbean island as might have been expected.

The articles:

The first article is essentially a trend analysis that studies how Americans are researching travel to Cuba before and after the announcement that restrictions would begin to be lifted.

The second is a first-hand account of a visit to Cuba from a academic professional who recently visited.

While commenters on LonelyPlanet have some questions about the trends, their comments about the first-hand account are more pointed, and are largely echoed in the comments section on the article itself.

Thanks for pointing out this juvenile report by a ‘nother novice who seems to know it all after one trip to Cuba. ~cubanwaters

I learnt 2 things from reading the linked article – that I needlessly lost 10 minutes of my life and secondly PhD’s are clearly given away in the US. ~johnabbotsford

you won’t know Cuba and Cuban people in just few days … I will never pretend I know US just because I have been there for months and many times! ~Tatiana Cmm

Personally, I think the commentors are being a bit hard on Elinor Robin, the woman who wrote the trip report piece. Is she a little judgemental? Sure. Take for example this quote from the article:

What will happen if/when the current regime falls is anyone’s guess. Who will be the next greedy power to step in? How will these people, who have never exercised self-determination, know what to do or how to do it China is already moving in. As I see it, if the U.S. does not get involved in Cuba, China will eventually take over.

Still, I’d rather read a report in which someone shares what they really thought about a location, rather than some watered down tripe.

Even if some of those thoughts come across as demeaning.

To the point of the trend analysis; I wonder if this is simply a short-term trend resulting from the fact that travel to Cuba isn’t really “open” yet, or is there something more pervasive going on here?

How many Americans who don’t have family in Cuba really care about visiting this particular Caribbean island? When selecting a tropical vacation destination, how many would choose an exotic but likely less comfortable trip over an all-inclusive resort?

Now, throw in some tours to the Bay of Pigs and a former Russian missle site and you might up the interest.

What do you think? If Cuba is fully opened up to American tourists will Americans flock to the island? Or will the vast majority of Americans prefer tropical vacations with all of the modern conveniences?

Read the LonelyPlanet thread in its entirety: Cuba not as popular with Americans as Expected

China Town” by momo. CC BY 2.0.


  1. You do realise there are five-star all-inclusive resorts in Cuba, right? It really is just Americans who don’t go there, and it’s long been a popular and very comfortable destination for Europeans.

  2. Echo Filipe’s comment. Just a typical American blogger completely unaware of how little they know about the world. So pathetic.

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