TRAVEL

Expedia announces online hotel bookings in Cuba

The online travel company Expedia announced Tuesday its entry to the Cuban market, allowing hotels on the island to post their offers on all the group's websites, the company told EFE in a statement.

"We've been working around the clock with Cuban hoteliers to offer this iconic, culture-rich destination to our global consumers, with the added convenience of online booking through a trusted travel partner," said Demetrius Canton, Expedia's director of market management for the Caribbean.

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With its new operation in Cuba, Expedia joins other large U.S. tourism companies like Starwood, despite uncertainties about the future of relations between the two countries in the Trump era.

According to the statement, the firm hopes to help Cuba and seeks to benefit local hotels with its tools, technology and experience.

"We are excited to make Barceló properties in Cuba accessible to travelers on Expedia platforms around the world," said Josep Brich, a top executive of the Spanish hotel group Barceló. 

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In 2016, the island registered the record number of 4 million foreign visitors, and in 2017 it expects to attract 4.2 million tourists.

To date, in 2017 the island has welcomed 2 million foreign visitors.