Airbnb's fastest-growing market is none other than Havana, Cuba, where the US$25 billion sharing-economy platform set up shop one year ago.
"I never imagined, growing up, ever traveling to Cuba," said Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, "let alone having a platform where we have over 4,000 homes here." Chesky was interviewed by NBC's Lester Holt in Cuba, for an episode of On Assignment that will air on Sunday, June 5.
The rate at which the business has exploded in the communist nation is unprecedented, eclipsing that of the largest U.S. market. "Havana is growing faster than New York was at its age, one year in," noted Chesky. Estimates from 2015 put New York as second only to Paris as Airbnb's largest market worldwide.
Chesky was part of a recent presidential convoy to Cuba, during which President Obama spotlighted Airbnb's success as an example of U.S. entrepreneurship.