TripAdvisor granted government approval to start booking travel services to Cuba

Planning and booking your trip to Cuba just got a little bit easier.

On Thursday, TripAdvisor announced it received a license from the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that will allow the site to provide and sell travel-related services to Cuba for both U.S. and international users.

Travelers can now compare prices of hotels in major Cuban cities including Havana, Varadero and Santiago de Cuba. TripAdvisor can also display advertising to promote Cuban travel-related activities and book flights, cultural tours, restaurants attractions and short-term rentals.

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For U.S. travelers, however, the site can only sell travel arrangements for trips that qualify under one of several government-approved categories, including family visits, journalistic activity and professional research, among others.

A representative for the company confirmed to that while the comparison feature is available, the site expects its direct booking services will be available within the next couple of months.

"Cuba continues to be one of the only countries in the world where the United States imposes significant travel restrictions. We applaud President Obama’s policies to ease these restrictions and build relations with our island neighbor just 90 miles south of Florida," TripAdvisor president and CEO Stephen Kaufer said in a statement Thursday.

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Seth Kalvert, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, TripAdvisor, thanked congress and President Obama for giving TripAdvisor the greenlight to Cuba-- but requested fewer restrictions in the future.

Said Kalvert, “We urge Congress to make these relationships permanent by passing legislation that gives U.S. citizens the unrestricted freedom to travel to Cuba."