Airbnb has expanded its service to include Cuba. It is now possible for American travelers to rent a room in a private Cuban home rather than in a Government owned hotel.
The expanded Airbnb service is made possible by the Obama administration’s policy of rapprochement with Cuba and by Airbnb’s commitment to innovation in the hospitality sector. The financial implications for participating Cuban families are significant: not only does it boost the incomes of participating families in Cuba, it also allows them to reinvest capital earned from room rentals into improving their homes.
Just as significantly, this will increase the involvement of the ordinary person in improving understanding between the two countries. It will increase the stake that ordinary citizens from both countries have in improved relations and cultural exchange. We know from history that when relationships between countries are based on government-to-government agreements they can be easily swept aside by politics. But when relationships between countries are based on contact between everyday citizens,- entrepreneurs, musicians, students, tourists, etc- they all become direct stakeholders. The more the stakeholders are directly engaged, the stronger the relationship.
TCI, whose mission is based on maximizing stakeholder engagement, congratulates Airbnb, – not only for its smart business move, but also for its contribution to improving the relationship between everyday Cubans and Americans.