strikes first in Cuban travel land-grab

Travel brands are lining up to get in on the hoopla surrounding US president Barack Obama’s visit to the Caribbean island of Cuba this week.

The Priceline Group-owned claims today that it will be the first online travel brand in the US to have listings for “instantly bookable hotel properties” located on the socialist island.

President Obama arrived in Cuba last weekend (the first sitting US head of state to do so for 88 years), triggering a number of announcements from companies eager to ride on the coat-tails of the “historic visit”.

Properties in the capital Havana will be first to feature on, with others in the city and elsewhere on the island to follow.’s move comes just 24 hours after Starwood announced that it will renovate and operate three hotels on the island – the first American (for now) company to forge any agreement with the Cuban government since the revolution in 1959.

The relaxation of diplomatic hostilities in recent years between Cuba and the US – plus president Obama’s visit this week – is likely to trigger a string of announcements and developments from US travel brands eager to capitalise on interest from US nationals to take trips to the island.

A number of US carriers, such as JetBlue, have been selling air tickets to Cuba for some months, both directly and via online travel agencies.

NB: Cuba hotel image via Shutterstock.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Victor

    Booking only has 3 properties in Havana and Expedia has two. Not sure why, but seems like serious missed opportunity, especially with JetBlue announcing $54 direct flights from Florida and $99 flights for NYC.

  2. Dick Jordan has no Havana listings as yet. AirBnB has listings in several Cuba locations.

  3. Jana is a Dutch company, sir, as it is based out of Amsterdam, NL. B.V is the portion of the company based in the United States.

  4. Kat Holmes

    I still do not see where consumers can book direct to Cuba from US. You either have to go through Grand Cayman or be a part of a travel group with an approved reason for travel. Jet Blue website does not offer direct flights to Cuba at this time.


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