Cuba Is America’s “Forbidden Fruit”: Companies Can’t Wait to Get A Bite Of The Caribbean Island
The icy relations between the U.S. and Cuba are beginning to thaw, and while the embargo hasn’t melted away completely, Americans are already going mad over the Caribbean island. An economic surge is on the horizon, CNN Money reports.
Cuba is America’s “forbidden fruit,” CNN Money says. And after President Obama announced that the U.S. will be “cutting loose the shackles of the past,” we just can’t wait to have a bite. Industries surrounding travel to the largest island in the Caribbean are showing signs of a booming economy.
Take AirBnB for example. According to BuzzFeed, the online home rental service announced on Thursday that it will begin operating in Cuba with over 1,000 Cuban hosts already listing their homes.
“We’re uniquely positioned to help Cubans reap the rewards of economic growth while preserving their unique culture,” Airbnb said on its website. “When Airbnb guests stay in local neighborhoods, they bring business to surrounding entrepreneurs—whether they be hosts, artists, or even ice cream shop owners.”
Netflix also wants a bite of the forbidden fruit. Despite the fact that only five percent of Cubans have access to the internet, the popular streaming video subscription service will give Cuba’s 11 million people the opportunity to binge-watch Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
“We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement. “Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”
American Express and Mastercard are also allowing customers to use their cards in Cuba.
Now before you do the mambo and start purchasing tickets to tropical paradise, no one can really fly there for vacation just yet. For now, Americans can only travel to Cuba for family visits, educational reasons, journalistic endeavors, business trips, or religious missions.
“Americans planning to visit the island must obtain a special travel license from the US government,” The Guardian reports.
All the rest of you that just want to soak up the Cuban sun have to stay home.