10 April 2015

Airbnb Celebrates Launch In Cuba With Special Video Introduction To The Country

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image by Lisette Poole via Airbnb Blog

Airbnb fans and travel lovers have another destination to add to their list of places to visit, after Airbnb announced its launch in Cuba last Thursday.

Cuba has been under US trade embargo for over half a century, but its economy is set to open up after the Obama administration’s move last December to normalize relations between the two countries.

In a blog post, Airbnb said there are over 1,000 listings ready to welcome visitors, with The New York Times reporting that around 40% of stays are in the capital Havana.

Airbnb’s foray into Cuba taps on its existing well-developed network of private home lodgings called “casas particulares”, which have been in place for decades.

The thawing of relations between the US and Cuba presents new business opportunities, in particular tourism growth, something Airbnb has been quick to capitalize on.

Internet connectivity could prove an obstacle however—internet speed is spotty and some hosts have limited internet access, making it hard to manage bookings.

Due to trade restrictions, non-US travelers will not be able to use this service. The Cuba listings are currently only available to US citizens traveling under any of the 12 US government-approved travel categories, including family visits, professional research, and humanitarian projects.

To celebrate its launch in the Latin American country, Airbnb has debuted a special video showcasing the hospitality of Cuba, a first for the home rental platform.

Check out the video below. Will you be booking an Airbnb stay in Cuba?

[via The New York Times, Skift and Airbnb Blog, video via Airbnb, image by Lisette Poole via Airbnb Blog]