The Expedia Group has announced its expansion into the Cuban market, which will allow Cuban hoteliers to sell inventory through global Expedia group sites as well as allow travellers to book hotels in the island destination.

The addition of Cuba’s hotel inventory in Expedia’s Caribbean portfolio will open new possibilities for inter-Caribbean and multi-destination travel that may boost growth throughout the region. The Expedia group works closely with partners throughout the Caribbean to ensure that they thrive as the region evolves using tailored strategies and regional data to take advantage of the fast-changing market.

According to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s 2016 Industry Performance Report, travel within the region increased for the second straight year, a clear sign of interest by Caribbean travellers in exploring their neighbouring countries. Over four million tourists visited Cuba in 2016, up 13% from the previous year. Among those visitors were over 614,000 Americans, up 34% from the year before.

Demetrius Canton, Director, Market Management for the Caribbean, Expedia, said, “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. We are excited to finally announce our expansion into Cuba, which will hopefully allow us to dive deeper into the Caribbean region and help our partners thrive. By further strengthening the value proposition that we offer, our local teams will continue to help hotel partners set their distribution strategy and take advantage of trends to reach and surpass their bottom line.”