Online travel searches for Cuba spike 300% following Obama news

Trinidad, Cuba. (DUSAN ZIDAR)

Trinidad, Cuba. (DUSAN ZIDAR)


, Last Updated: 3:59 PM ET

American travellers were quick to react to news that President Barack Obama plans to end the diplomatic deep-freeze with Cuba and ease travel restrictions, driving online traffic for Cuba up nearly 300% on TripAdvisor, reports the online travel site.

On December 17, when the historic news broke, searches for Cuba on the world's largest travel site spiked 293% compared to the previous day.

A quick TripAdvisor poll also showed that 55% of respondents said that eased travel restrictions will increase their interest in visiting the island country -- the largest in the Caribbean -- in 2015.

Last year, Havana topped the site's travelers' choice list and was ranked the No. 1 destination on the rise.

And last month, the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria resort in Cuba topped TripAdvisor's list of best all-inclusive resorts.

The adults-only resort earned a five out of five bubble rating from its 1,236 reviews for its cheerful, helpful staff, white sand beaches and infinity pools, and for doing away with traditional buffets and offering restaurant-style service.

While American globetrotters keen to explore new, uncharted territory may be rejoicing at the historic development, the rest of the Caribbean is likely a little weary.

After decades of receiving US tourists at the exclusion of Cuba, lifted travel restrictions could poach US tourists -- and US dollars -- away from popular hotspots like Jamaica and the Bahamas.