SAN FRANCISCO—In a landmark moment, Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, today announced it will offer accommodations in Cuba to travelers from around the world beginning April 2, the company’s one-year anniversary on the island.
As part of the Obama administration’s efforts to improve relations with Cuba and less than a year after it first opened doors to licensed US-travelers only, Airbnb has been granted special authorization by the U.S. Department of Treasury to allow the company to provide accommodations in Cuba to non-US travelers. This will now give everyone the opportunity to experience the real Cuba through the neighborhoods and homes of local Airbnb hosts.
“Airbnb was built on our belief that you can belong anywhere. We invite people to visit neighborhoods, meet new people, make new friends, and experience new places like a local,” said Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk. “In less than a year, this has proven true in Cuba with more than 13,000 guests from each of the 50 US states. Now, we will be able to offer the same belonging to travelers from any country, while doing our part to preserve what makes Cuba so special and unique.”
Cuba is renowned for its large network of casas particulares, traditional private home-stays run by local micro-entrepreneurs that have been a popular accommodation choice for visitors for many years. Approximately 4,000 casas particulares owners have added their homes to Airbnb’s global community, making Cuba the fastest-growing market in Airbnb history. To date, these Airbnb hosts have earned an average of $250 USD per booking.
Currently, Airbnb accommodations are spread across nearly 40 different cities and towns in Cuba, with about a third of listings outside Havana, including Trinidad, Viñales, Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas and Cienfuegos. For accommodations on Airbnb in Cuba, all travelers are required to attest they are traveling to Cuba under one of the twelve license categories as directed on the platform during the booking process.
While travelers from many countries have previously been able to visit Cuba, they now have access to the benefits of the Airbnb platform, such as secure payment methods & transactions, profiles & reviews, easy two-way messaging, and protection under Airbnb’s trust & safety team. Similarly, Cuban hosts have enjoyed protection and benefits that only Airbnb offers, including Airbnb’s Host Guarantee program, which reimburses up to $1 million USD for property damage.