The brick-and-mortar retail experience has been a staple of modern life. How will technology shape the future of commerce and indeed how we navigate the built environment?
There are an estimated 3,800 traditional travel agencies dispersed throughout Colombia. As in other Latin American markets, online brands and supplier websites have clearly gained momentum. Nevertheless, traditional travel agencies still hold considerable sway in the market. Two groups, Aviatur and L'Alianxa, are said to control 35% of the third-party bookings originating in Colombia (corporate and leisure).
550 million bus tickets are sold every year in Mexico. Recognizing the potential of this market, Mexico City based online booking platform Reserbus launched in 2013 and continues to add partners and destinations. The company, run by Sebastián Gómez, recently signed a series of significant agreements with two more major Mexican bus carriers, with U.S. based Greyhound, and popular Mexican OTA BestDay.
Mobile bookings made by Spanish tourists has experienced triple-digit growth during the third quarter of 2015. Other data show that the average length of stay in the Spanish hotels booked via mobile is 2.7 nights; Russian travelers who book through these devices stay an average of 3.9 nights, ranking first in length of stay, followed by the Irish and Italian, with 3.8 nights in both cases. Spanish tourists averaged two nights stay when managing their room via mobile device.
The investment firm of billionaire George Soros has agreed to spend up to US $300 million in Fën Hotels, an Argentinian hotel chain, in a vote of confidence in a region that has been affected by slow economic growth and waning investor interest. Soros's investment will help fund up to 5,000 new hotel rooms in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and other South American countries in the next three years.
After five years in the market, Barcelona based OTA Atrápalo pulls out of Latin America's biggest travel market. The company ranks among the top Spanish online travel sites, with a strong presence in Latin America, where 30% of the brand's sales originate from. Economics and market downturn aside, Atrápalo's decision to pull out of Brazil probably had more to do with user experience and momentum in the build out, rather than currency exchange rates.
Airbnb has witnessed explosive growth culminating in a valuation of USD 25.5 billion, after raising USD 1.5 billion in July. While these results are historical and unprecedented, Jordi Torres, director of Latin America believes that homestays are just the beginning for this global accommodations provider.