Expedia, Inc., probably the largest online travel company in the world, has just announced that Cuba has been added to its booking engine. Travelers can now book hotels in Cuba directly on Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, and CheapTickets.
Travelers continue to show increased interest in Cuba, considered to be one of the hottest and most desired destinations in the Caribbean. The Ministry of Tourism in Cuba reported that the island had over four million foreign visitors in 2016, and the U.S accounted for the largest increase in visitor numbers.
Mario Ribera, Vice President of market management for Latin America said that the company is “well-poised to bring new consumers into the market.” He added that, “We’ve been working around the clock with our partners to be able to offer this iconic, culture-rich destination to our global customers, with the added convenience of online booking through a trusted travel partner.”
Josep Brichs, Corporate Commercial Director for Barceló Hotel Group Latin America stated that the hotel company is “excited to make Barceló properties in Cuba accessible to travelers on Expedia platforms around the world. We are very proud Barceló Solymar and Barceló Arenas Blancas in Varadero have been one of the first bookings made on Expedia upon the opening of the destination. Expedia is a key partner and our priority is to develop new opportunities on the international travel industry together.”
Cuba is a fascinating destination which offers history, splendid beaches, an unspoiled natural environment, coral reefs, cays and much more. The Island has been off limits to American tourists for over 50 years. People will now be able to leverage Expedia sites to conduct research and book available hotel properties throughout Cuba. There will be no shortage of accommodations, as consumers can select from hotel options throughout the island. The options include Pinar Del Rio, Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey. Expedia has entered in partnership with local Cuban partners, to make the process of booking hotels as easy as possible for this widely-anticipated market.
Research and booking of Cuba accommodations that are in compliance with OFAC regulations, is available for both U.S. and non-U.S. travelers, on Expedia points-of-sale globally. U.S. travellers certify that their travel falls under one of the authorized categories of travel, which include family visits, journalism, conferences, government work, professional research, humanitarian work,educational activities and “people-to-people” educational travel. Non-U.S travelers have to declare they are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
Both U.S. and non-U.S. travelers can make their bookings online for accommodation in Cuba, utilizing the Expedia platforms that are available globally.
Author: Zoe Veraz
Zoe is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the Cuba Business Report.