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Online travel market in Latin America- statistics & facts

As part of the digital transformation undergone by many sectors and industries worldwide, online technologies have become one of the major drivers of the global tourism sector in recent years. Including hotels, cruises, package holidays, and vacation rentals, online channels accounted already for 60 percent of tourism sales worldwide in 2020. By 2024, this share could surpass 70 percent, revealing the enormous significance of digital services in this sector. In Latin America, travel sales made through digital channels represented more than 22 billion U.S. dollars before the coronavirus crisis. Moreover, despite the harsh drop recorded in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, this market is expected to bounce back to similar levels by 2022.

OTAs, the preferred option when looking for travel services

A survey carried out in 2020 revealed that online travel agencies (OTAs) were the most popular options to start searching for travel and tourism services among inhabitants of major Latin American countries. However, differences are observed depending on the type of service looked for on those platforms. For instance, over 30 percent of Brazilian respondents chose OTAs as their first go-to channels, with flight searches overtaking the preference by a small margin. In Argentina, on the other hand, accommodation took the lead, with approximately three out of ten survey participants reporting to have used OTAs when looking for that service category, against 23 percent who used them to search for flights. This difference is more prominent in Mexico, where 17 percent of respondents who visited OTAs searched for air transport tickets versus 30 percent who did so for accommodation.

An Argentine company: the key player in the market

With the strong and wide presence of world-renowned providers, Latin America’s online travel landscape is very diverse. Nonetheless, the Argentine-founded company has successfully established itself as the leading OTA in Latin America, with three of the major tourist countries in the region accounting for most of the company’s transactions. In Brazil —Despegar’s most important market— the Argentine OTA operates under the equivalent word in Portuguese, Decolar. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the company has extended its network by acquiring the Mexican Best Day Travel Group in late-2020.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "Online travel market in Latin America".


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