- Title: Expedia begins offering online booking for hotels in Cuba
- Date: 23rd May 2017
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (MAY 23, 2017) (REUTERS) SEA FRONT MALECON IN HAVANA EXTERIOR HABANA LIBRE HOTEL U.S. FLAG IN ENTRANCE OF HABANA LIBRE HOTEL VARIOUS OF TOURISTS IN HOTEL RECEPTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TOURIST, WILLIAM SMITH, SAYING: "Most Americans are probably booking directly through the cruise lines, where they are going to one cruise line. With Expedia, I would assume, is going to be able to pull everything together and give more options for people." SMITH, TOGETHER WITH FAMILY, SPEAKING TO TOURIST GUIDE IN OLD HAVANA SQUARE SMITH AND TOURIST GUIDE, HOLDING MAPS NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE SHIP, DOCKED AT HAVANA PORT, SEEN FROM WINDOW WHILE HORSE CART CARRYING TOURISTS PASSES BY AS WELL AS CARS ON STREET (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TOURIST, KIM SMITH, SAYING: "Oh that would make it real easy, very, very, easy and I think we have a tendency to do everything online, so it would be a benefit to us." VARIOUS OF AMERICAN TOURISTS CONTRACTING CLASSIC CAR TAXI SERVICES CLASSIC CARS SEEN DRIVING ALONG AVENUE AT HAVANA PORT WITH NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE SHIP DOCKED IN BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 6th June 2017 17:01
- Keywords: tourism Cuba hotels online booking Expedia
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016I29LQB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: U.S. online travel services company Expedia said on Tuesday (May 23) it had started offering online booking for hotels in Communist-run Cuba, hoping to capitalize on a boom in tourism to the Caribbean island.
Expedia joins a dozen U.S. airlines and cruise operators that have already ventured into the Cuban market since the United States announced a detente with its former Cold War foe in 2014 and eased travel and trade restrictions.
The number of visitors to Cuba rose 13 percent to a record 4 million in 2016, driven by a 74 percent jump in U.S. travellers. A survey recently showed the number of American visitors alone could multiply sevenfold to 2 million by 2025.
Expedia's move comes as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration conducts a full review of U.S. policy toward Cuba. During his campaign, Trump had threatened to roll back the normalization of relations.
Expedia said it would offer both hotel and BnB options and that customers would be able to pay online at the time of booking.
Americans previously had to reserve Cuban hotels principally through travel agencies or tour groups.
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