Airbnb Expands to Cuba

The news is the latest in a series of escalating business deals in the wake of the Obama administration's announcement in December that the U.S. and Cuba would pursue full relations for the first time in 54 years. 

Americans eager to take advantage of their government's warming relations with Cuba now have the option of booking lodging via Airbnb, reports Michael Weissenstein in an exclusive for The Associated Press:


"The popular online home-rental service Airbnb is allowing American travelers to book lodging in Cuba starting Thursday in the most significant U.S. business expansion on the island since the declaration of detente between the two countries late last year...

Airbnb searches for "Cuba" now turn up more than 1,000 properties across the island, with 40 percent in Havana and the rest in tourist destinations such as Cienfuegos a few hours away on the southern coast. The company has been sending teams of representatives to Cuba for three months to sign up home owners, and plans to expand steadily in coming months."

Weissenstein interviews Kay Kuehne, regional director for Airbnb, who explains that the island nation is already home to a thriving culture of DIY lodging rentals: "casas particulares," or private homes. 

The news is the latest in a series of escalating business deals in the wake of the Obama administration's announcement in December that the U.S. and Cuba would pursue full relations for the first time in 54 years. 

Read more at The Associated Press.

Below, tech researcher Vivek Wadhwa discusses the future of disrupting companies like Uber and Airbnb.

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