Every traveller wants to know their chosen vacation location is safe. Travellers want a destination where they won’t be at risk of being assaulted or kidnapped. They want to know they won’t fall victim to crime or extreme weather phenomena, or to a deadly virus or other debilitating disease. Travellers want to count on a happy and secure stay.
Cuba is a destination that offers just that. This small Caribbean island is one of only a few places in the world that visitors choose not only for its natural beauty and other attractions, but above other reasons because it is safe.
This is borne out by the sight of visitors in Havana and other Cuban cities who, having just arrived and left their baggage at their hotel or guest house, step out onto the streets, carefree, for a walk in the sea breeze under the hot Caribbean sun Cuba feels safe, in any part of the country, both in cities and in the countryside, at any time of the night or day, alone or with a guide. Travellers can stroll unbothered but can also count on islanders who won’t hesitate to step in and help when visitors find themselves lost or needing information.
One of the defining characteristics of Cuban people is their solidarity, their hospitality. It is no surprise that generally any Cuban, young or old, will hold out their hand to a traveller when needed.
This is why at the thirty-eighth International Tourism Fair held in Madrid, Spain in 2018 Cuba won an excellence award for Safest Country in recognition of the stability and security it has shown for many years.
Health risks are another potential concern for travellers. Cuba has an extensive tourist health sector catering to international visitors and residents managed by Servimed, an organization that runs more than forty medical centres across the country offering primary care in many medical specialties with high tech facilities.
As for weather events and other natural phenomena, Cuba’s extensive natural disaster defence system ensures people’s personal safety, as evidenced by its response to Hurricane Irma last year.
When the storm battered a large part of the country last September, Cuba rapidly put its safety measures in place to protect the lives of nationals and visitors.
At the time, the island was hosting fifty-one thousand tourists in hotels and guesthouses. All were evacuated or weathered the storm in safety where they were, without a single reported injury.
The Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said at the time that all the measures taken sought principally to pro- tect human lives, including those of tourist sector workers, and secondly to protect the resources of what is the country’s most important industry.
US analytics company Data World recently published a re- port that named Cuba one of the safest destinations in the world for US tourists.
US researcher Peter Kornbluh, head of George Washington University’s Cuba Documentation Project has visited the island over one hundred and twenty times.
“I’ve worked with many groups who have visited Cuba,” he says.
“Many of them went because it’s one of the safest places to visit on the whole planet, and it continues to be.” It is unsurprising then that when surveyed visitors list their many motivations for choosing Cuba as their vacation desti- nation, they mention its natural beauty, its coral reefs, their conversations with local people, the levels of health and education, the country’s stability and, above all, its safety