Booking.com will become the first online US travel brand to offer instantly bookable hotel properties in Cuba.
Within weeks, travelers who meet US government criteria will be able to instantly book hotel rooms for travel to Cuba. Plans are in place to increase the number of properties in Havana and beyond to give US travelers the incredible diversity of choice Booking.com is known for.
Starwood and Marriott recently gained approval to do business in Cuba – made possible through what appears to be unique approval from the Obama administration. It marks the first US hoteliers to operate in Cuba since the 1959 revolution. So far, Starwood is the only US hotelier to announce deals with the Cuba government to operate hotels in Cuba.
Booking.com’s move follows the recent loosening of restrictions for U.S. travelers to Cuba. At the outset, properties will be available in Havana and consumers can book instantly and avoid the need to rely on a property owner to respond to and accept a travel request.
“Cuba is a beautiful, culture-rich country that many travelers are keen to visit,” says Todd Dunlap, Managing Director, Americas, Booking.com. “At Booking.com, we are on a constant mission to bring our customers everything they want to help them experience the world. 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. 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.”
Established in 1996, Booking.com B.V. owns and operates Booking.com, and is part of The Priceline Group.