Booking.com to Launch Instantly Bookable Hotels in Cuba
Photo by David Cogswell
Popular online travel agency Booking.com has announced that it's just weeks away from offering instantly bookable hotels in Cuba.
The company revealed it has signed up 10 hotels so far and is working to add to that figure.
The announcement comes amid President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba and efforts by the administration to ease travel restrictions to the Caribbean island nation.
"With the news of the easing of U.S. travel restrictions, we began working immediately with the local Cuban government, tourism authorities and our local hotel partners to launch the first platform to allow travelers to book and confirm instantly with the click of a button," said Booking.com's managing director for the Americas Todd Dunlap in a statement.
"They have been great partners for us on this journey and we are thrilled to be able to facilitate new experiences for U.S. travelers," Dunlap added.
Booking.com's Cuba operation will debut with properties located only in the capital city of Havana. And while travelers will be able to book rooms conveniently online, their trip will still have to meet the criteria of one of the 12 categories for approved travel to Cuba.
Users will have to specify their travel category and provide other details regarding the purpose of the trip before they can confirm a reservation.
The website's announcement comes after U.S. hotel companies Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Marriott International both gained approval from the U.S. Treasury Department to conduct business in Cuba.
Starwood has already signed three hotels in Cuba.
When Booking.com launches instantly bookable hotels in Cuba later this year it will join short-term rental service Airbnb as the only two online travel companies operating there.
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