Expedia looking to expand operations in Argentina

by | May 16, 2018 | News

Argentina in the eye for tourism and investment

The United Kingdom recently announced that it would be granting post-Brexit visas to architects.

At the recent World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Buenos Aires, travel giants Expedia announced plans to grow their business in the Argentine market. We take a look at their thinking around the proposed expansion.

Expedia at the WTTC

The 2018 installment of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit was held at the Hilton Hotel in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on the 18th and 19th of April. Their presence at the event was significant in that the global travel giant owns a stake in the local travel platform Despegar.com, which they purchased in 2015. Expedia has almost 600,000 properties listed on their site, and since 2011 they have had a regional office in Buenos Aires with a staff of 30. Not only did Expedia announce their intentions to continue growing in Argentina, but the WTTC also announced a large investment into Argentina over the coming years.

Opportunity in Argentina

Argentina is often mired in economic crisis and relentlessly rising inflation, but the new government of Mauricio Macri has instilled a little more faith in Argentina as a place to invest in. Scott Crawford, Global Vice President of ecommerce at Expedia, said, “We were impressed by the announcements made by President Macri about the investments they plan to make to improve tourism in Argentina. We see many opportunities to bring more people and add partners.” Johan Svanstrom, president of Hotels.com, which is owned by Expedia, added, “Macri talked about renovating 90 airports and that is very good because infrastructure is critical when it comes to attracting tourism. In the first place, political and economic stability is fundamental and then the infrastructure: airports and accessibility.”

However, the economic situation changes daily in Argentina, and things might not be looking so rosy for investors since the peso’s drop at the beginning of May, where it’s exchange rate against the dollar rose to 25AR$.

Growth in tourism in Latin America

Despite Argentina’s volatile economy, tourism in Latin America continues to grow. This is a good sign for the hotel industry, which has been facing stiff competition from the likes of AirBnB now for some time, but hotels in Argentina still seem to be performing well. Expedia’s Crawford said, “In Latin America you can see how tourism grew, people travel more, we see many opportunities as an Expedia group, since more people travel from Latin America to receive tourists from other countries. We have a very large audience, 675 million visits in our portals per month, we have a large audience to tell you about Latin America and that having more options to choose from is convenient for us, “added Crawford. Expedia’s data doesn’t lie, and the company invests a lot of money and confidence in its technology to keep returning reliable data so that they are best positioned, not only to serve their customers, but also to see new opportunities based on current travel habits and trends.

Let’s take a look at a few projects currently underway in Argentina:

SLS Lux Puerto Madero

Viceroy Buenos Aires

Hampton by Hilton Bariloche

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