The global spread of the vacation rentals phenomenon has now reached Cuba. And here at Homes and Rooms, we’re experiencing a surge of international interest in our services for independent vacation rental owners.
Since the declaration of détente between Cuba and the USA last year, the country is opening up its doors. These include many private vacation rentals which offer a refreshing alternative to the country’s government-run hotels.
No sooner was the announcement made in April, by Foxnews, that Airbnb would allow American travelers to book lodgings in Cuba then Homes and Rooms had its first Cuban owner signing up to try out its services.
According to Fox News ‘Airbnb searches for Cuba will now turn up more than 1,000 properties across the island, with 40 percent in Havana and the rest in tourist destinations such as Cienfuegos a few hours away on the southern coast.’
Bed and breakfast alternatives to hotels
In fact, one of the best developed aspects of Cuba’s entrepreneurial sector is the network of privately-owned rooms and houses for tourists. What began in the 1990s as homey, bed and breakfast-style alternatives to Cuba’s impersonal state-run hotels, have now been able to expand into an industry which includes small apartments in central Havana and luxury beach houses with maid service.
In recent years, travel industry commentators have charted the enormous growth and global spread of vacation rentals as an alternative to the traditional hospitality providers such as hotels. Listings company Homeaway, generally regarded as the industry leader in holiday homes, now has dealings in 140 countries.
Homes and Rooms is experiencing this growing global interest at first hand. In recent weeks there have been enquiries from places as far apart as Brazil and Thailand, Malta and India, Senegal and Croatia. That’s on top of ‘the usual suspects’ from the USA, UK, Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal.
Worldwide web has opened up possibilities
Homes and Rooms founder Barry Sacks, who set up the company to provide support services for vacation rental owners worldwide, has followed closely this global spread of vacation rentals. He comments: ‘It’s largely down to the power of the web. It’s opened up possibilities for travel and vacation rentals in some of the most far-flung and exotic places as well as new opportunities for owners closer to home.’
‘Internet booking opens up great possibilities for even the smallest vacation rental, but it’s a very competitive business and owners will need high performing websites and sophisticated software to succeed. That’s exactly what we provide and I’m very excited by the growing number of inquiries about our services from places such as Cuba, Senegal and Thailand.’
‘When we set up the service, it was always intended that we would have a truly global scope which is why we made our services for owners accessible 24/7 via a whole range of devices including smartphones. They can manage from wherever they might be. It’s also why we make it possible for owners to work in any currency they choose – or in multiple currencies.’
‘We’re looking forward to many more inquiries from Cuba!’