There are reportedly over 2,000 active Airbnb listings in Cuba.
With the Cuban Embassy reopening in Washington, D.C., this week, room-sharing service Airbnb says it will cover the cost for U.S. travelers booked to stay in the country.
The Cuba refund will apply to trips booked prior to July 20 for travel between July 19 and July 26.
A trade embargo was lifted and travel to Cuba has been allowed once again after President Barack Obama enacted policy changes at the end of last year.
“In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” the White House said at the time. “Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas.”
Nathan Blecharczyk, a co-founder and CTO of Airbnb, recently wrote for Fortune about Cuba’s economy. He said that since Airbnb started allowing listings in Cuba in April, there are over 2,000 rentals available.
“For the first time in decades, authorized U.S. travelers will have the chance to experience authentic Cuban hospitality at homes across the island,” an Airbnb blog post announced at the time. “Despite its proximity to the U.S., Cuba has been off limits to most Americans for over 50 years. Part of Cuba’s appeal to visitors is that it offers an experience unlike anything else.”
Airbnb announced its plan to pay for guests’ stays via Twitter.
It later clarified the specifics of the deal when customers pressed for more information.
By Benjamin Snyder, Fortune
July 22, 2015