TripAdvisor Granted Permission to Sell Cuba Flights, Hotels, Tours and More
Andrew Sheivachman, Skift – Oct 27, 2016 7:00 pm
TripAdvisor selling travel to Cuba is just another step towards the
mainstreaming of Cuba as a U.S. tourist destination, and represents a
coup for TripAdvisor as it tries to ramp up its bookings business.
— Andrew Sheivachman
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
has granted TripAdvisor a license to sell travel to Cuba as the
organization loosens restrictions on overall travel to Cuba for Americans.
TripAdvisor users will be able to place bookings for hotels, flights,
tours, attractions, and short-term rentals using TripAdvisor’s booking
tools. This will make TripAdvisor the first major online booking site
with ability to sell multiple travel Cuba travel products to U.S. travelers.
TripAdvisor will be able to use display advertising and display products
using metasearch, as well, and plans to roll out booking
functionality in the next few months.
While TripAdvisor will be the first major U.S. online travel agency to
have access, Booking.com received clearance to sell hotel rooms earlier
this year. Airbnb, of course, has been extremely active in Cuba,
allowing travelers to stay in Cuban cities despite the lack of available
hotel rooms. Many U.S. travel agencies and tour operators have been
booking trips to Cuba for years.
“Cuba continues to be one of the only countries in the world where the
United States imposes significant travel restrictions,” said TripAdvisor
president and CEO Stephen Kaufer in a release. “We applaud President
Obama’s policies to ease these restrictions and build relations with our
island neighbor just 90 miles south of Florida. TripAdvisor looks
forward to helping travelers all over the world discover Cuba’s vibrant
history, people and culture as we begin the important work to make these
From the traveler perspective, travel to Cuba booked through
TripAdvisor still needs to fall into one of twelve categories approved
by OFAC, including family visits, educational activities, and more.
Source: TripAdvisor Granted Permission to Sell Cuba Flights, Hotels,
Tours and More – Skift –