Tourism 'Gold Rush' Brings Cash to Cubans' Pockets

PHOTO: Tourists walk the narrow streets of the shopping district in the historic Habana Vieja, or Old Havana, March 21, 2016 in Havana, Cuba.PlayChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WATCH Cuba's Gold Rush

A surge in American tourism is bringing business, big and small, to Cuba.

In Havana, hotels are near capacity, providing an opportunity for locals to rent rooms through Airbnb for $250 per booking, on average.

The crowd-sourced housing site, based in San Francisco, is offering more than 4,000 rental properties across the island nation of Cuba. That will provide a windfall for people with an average salary of $20 a month. Today, Airbnb is going door-to-door recruiting rooms for rent outside of Havana in a town that has no hotels.

Just this week, Starwood Hotels, based in Connecticut, announced it will renovate and operate three hotels in Cuba, the first American hotel company to do so in almost 60 years.

U.S. airlines are competing to bring Americans to Cuba. Later this year, there will be 110 daily commercial flights to Cuba, 20 of those to Havana. And just today, Carnival announced they will be beginning cruises to Cuba from Miami in May.