Airbnb gets Barack Obama and White House OK for Cuba business opening it up for all global travellers

Lynsey Barber
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Now visitors can stay in an Airbnb (Source: Getty)

Airbnb has been given approval from Barack Obama to fully open up listing to anyone from around the world to stay in one of its holiday rentals in Cuba.

The move was announced on the day Barack Obama makes a historic visit to Cuba to meet with Raul Castro, and almost a year after the rental startup said it would set up in the country following the lifting of the more than 50-year trade embargo between the two countries.

Since then, more than 13,000 US guests have stayed in one of the nearly 4,000 Airbnbs available in Cuba.

The rules limiting stays will be now be lifted, letting anyone from around the world stay in a Cuban Airbnb, and co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky said it projects between 10 and 20 per cent of all US travellers to Cuba will stay in an Airbnb property in 2016.

The startup, valued at more than $10bn, estimates that the average Cuban renting out a place on the site is earning $250 and the country is its fastest growing market.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts earlier announced it will take over the running of several hotels in the country which have been historically state owned.

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