Insight on Doing Business with the LATAM Market from La Cita Founder, Rick Still
I remember, 20 years ago or so, US Receptive Operators were scared that in-country Wholesalers and Tour Operators were going direct to suppliers. Then Wholesalers worried that Retail travel agents would tell suppliers they were Wholesalers and get their commission. Then OTAs, DMCs, and offshore companies opened their US operations and everyone thought they would wipe out the market.
The reality is that we will continue to see challenges and disruption in the sale and distribution of travel products. That’s the future.
The one thing that will remain constant is that we will do business with people we know and trust and with whom we have a relationship. Business – especially in the Americas – will always be personal.
And now that hotels are having banner years and ADR’s are going through the roof, hotel inventory is being managed like electronic portfolio managers.
For ITO’s that leaves two strategies: 1) find and cultivate new wholesaler relationships in emerging markets and 2) take a good look at “second tier” markets that have inventory, great attractions, and need a receptive to come in to create, package and market their destinations.
Check out this site: http://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/072/ … this is a great analysis of the 2010 census that shows clusters of hispanics by nationality. See what nationalities are in areas in which you operate and then use La Cita as a place to begin building your in-market networks.
La Cita is a great opportunity to build relationships and develop new business in the LATAM markets. La Cita is a “by invitation,” one-on-one appointment conference that provides networking opportunities for travel industry professionals – senior management buyers, suppliers and related marketing services – to meet, further relationships, and build partnerships that facilitate inbound travel globally from key markets in Latin America and the Caribbean.