After many months of practically zero turnover due to the pandemic, the Despegar tourism platform began to register a slow recovery in its operations. In this sense, the Pre-trip program, which the Ministry of Tourism launched on October 8 and enables a 50% reimbursement on expenses made in Argentina, allowed it to increase the demand for tourist packages by 40%.

“The most popular destinations were Bariloche, Iguazú, Salta, Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Another point that grew a lot is Villa La Angostura,” said Paula Cristi, Despegar’s general manager for Argentina and Uruguay.

It was during a virtual presentation on the company’s performance that it redirected the business from August, when it merged with Best Day, the largest tourism platform in Mexico. Despegar also recently bought Brazil’s Koin, an electronic payment company.

In all cases, the common denominator in post-pandemic sales are “flexible” reservations, that is, those that offer a range of possibilities for exchange, reimbursement and other alternatives to travel in the event that the client has inconveniences to do so. due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid.

The Despegar board told some tips that the company is seeing in the new passengers who decide to buy at this time, when all the links of tourism are being able to have a little more predictability for the sale of products.

“One of the characteristics is that the local traveler chooses the plane as the main means of transport and also hires more car services in the chosen destinations,” says Cristi. Changes are also recorded in stays. While until last year, travelers opted for shorter stays (7 to 10 days in 2019), in this season, they see between 10 and 15 days, on average, preferably with the family.

Another point that the sales of the platform detected is the priority that internal tourism maintains: “58% of people choose to travel within the country,” says Cristi.

On the other hand, growth is also seen in the choice of 4 and 5 star hotels. Something that, according to the directive, is explained by the greater security generated among travelers by health protocols in this type of accommodation. Obviously, the number of Argentines who used to travel abroad also affect this point and instead, this year, decide to vacation in the country.

Finally, another feature that shows a change compared to other years is that travelers anticipate their purchase more. On average, according to Despegar data, more than 45 days prior to departure.

“We know that the tourism sector would only recover the level of activity of 2019, in 2023,” says Cristi. “But there are signs of recovery week by week,” she says. Of course, the focus of the company, for now, is on the domestic market.

From the entities that group the different companies in the tourism sector, such as FAEVyT and the Argentine Chamber of Tourism, the consumption of local destinations is being encouraged, highlighting those that obtained the seal of quality (Safe Travels) granted by the World Travel Council and Tourism (WTTC, according to its acronym in English) through the National Institute for Tourism Promotion. To date, more than 250 tourism companies, including hotels, travel agencies, operators, museums, and gastronomic establishments throughout the country have obtained this distinction. reported.