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Video: Airbnb adds Cuba to its list of travel destinations

FRANCE 24 I Screen grab of a room for rent sign in Cuba

Home rental website Airbnb said on Thursday that it would now enable US residents to book accomodation in Cuba, becoming one of the first US companies to set up shop there since the two countries announced a rapprochement in January.

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The move comes as the United States and Cuba work to restore diplomatic ties, ending a more than 50-year-old embargo.

US President Barack Obama has already eased some travel restrictions, making it possible for American citizens to travel to Cuba for specific reasons, including family visits or education. Meanwhile, Cuba’s government has begun encouraging private home rentals.

Airbnb said that US searches for rentals in Cuba surged by 70 percent after Obama announced the changes, leading the company to add more than 1,000 listings on the island.

Airbnb’s Cuba services are only open to US travelers for the moment, but could expand to include people from other countries, the company said.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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