Online lodging service Airbnb opens Cuba listings to the world

  • AP, Havana
  • Updated: Mar 20, 2016 21:55 IST
A motorcycle drives past a sign at Revolution square in Havana, Cuba on March 19, 2016. (AFP Photo)

The Obama administration has given San Francisco-based online lodging service Airbnb a special license allowing travellers from around the world to book stays in private homes in Cuba.

Airbnb was the first major American company to enter Cuba after Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro declared detente on December 17, 2014.

The online service handles listing, booking and payments for people looking to stay in private homes instead of hotels. Cuba has become its fastest-growing market, with about 4,000 homes added over the last year.

Airbnb had only been allowed to let US travellers use its services in Cuba under a relatively limited Obama administration exception to a US trade embargo. That limit has been lifted, dramatically increasing the number of people likely to use the service in Cuba.

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