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Expedia became the latest US-based travel service to hop on the Cuba craze this Tuesday with an announcement that customers could now book hotels on the Caribbean island. The announcement puts Expedia in line with a growing number of American air carriers, cruise operators and other travel services that have entered the market since President Obama began to roll back travel restrictions in 2014.
“We’ve been working around the clock with Cuban hoteliers to offer this iconic, culture-rich destination to our global consumers, with the added convenience of online booking through a trusted travel partner,” said Demetrius Canton, director of Caribbean market management for Expedia, to Fox News.
A search on Thursday afternoon of Expedia’s offerings showed a range of hotel availabilities across the island, including many privately-owned bed and breakfasts. Reuters reported that customers can pay online at the time of booking.
Kari Ramsey, a spokesperson for Expedia, said in an email to The Points Guy that the company is excited to join the fast-expanding Cuban market, which, she noted, “continues to be a hot destination for US and international travelers.”
“By making Cuba available on Expedia global points of sales, we’re further connecting hotels to consumers and providing value through our marketing and technology investment,” Ramsey said.
The State Department allows Americans to travel to Cuba if their trip falls into one of 12 categories. While tourism itself is still banned, many Americans have been able to travel to the island for educational or cultural reasons, according to Reuters.
Ramsey told The Points Guy that Expedia is eager to help connect American travelers with Cuba, as well as make single-person travel easier. She noted that the vast majority of travelers visiting the island now travel in large tour groups with structured itineraries.
Says Ramsey: “By opening Cuba to individual travelers, we hope to expand the type of trips and engagements available to our global customers, while also providing an easy and automated solution that lets travelers book on their terms.”
Photo courtesy of Roberto Machado Noa via Getty images.
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