In light of recent political crisis, recession and economic downturns, countries in Latin America are turning a new page, with reforms to foster greater, transparency, innovation and economic diversity.
In the travel sector, the ongoing rise of low-cost carriers (LCCs) is creating opportunity for business travelers. Although today’s LCCs operate mainly in the Brazilian and Mexican domestic markets (with a growing presence in Chile and Colombia), the trend is for broader expansion of intra-regional traffic. This dynamic will increase demand for content aggregation as carriers are integrated into the technology ecosystem.
Other forces driving advances in the managed travel space include: a young, tech-savvy population; an expanding middle class; a growing SME sector; and a resilient, diverse workforce.
Innovation leads to a more collaborative society
Latin Americans are heavy users of new technologies, and those that provide transparency and traceability are especially popular. Latin Americans also eagerly consume innovations that keep them connected and informed. The most populous countries in the region – Brazil, Mexico and Argentina – are among the highest-ranked markets globally for total weekly hours spent on the internet, much of it on mobile devices. And people spend more of their time on social media than do their counterparts anywhere else in the world.
Changing demographics, consumption patterns and duty of care
As Latin America’s corporate demographics change, so do preferences and consumption patterns when it comes to managed travel; this, at a time when travelers are increasingly empowered and informed to make their own decisions. In particular, female empowerment in Latin America and the Caribbean has led to more women joining the workforce. Although female participation in the global workforce has fallen 2% since 1990, in Latin America and the Caribbean it has jumped 14%.
The region has seen women join the workforce at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world: upwards of 80 million additional female workers since the 1960s. And these women are increasingly choosing to travel solo as they now have more money and opportunities to do so. As a result, organizations wishing to retain these workers more and more are catering to their specific needs. As a result, the manner in which duty of care is managed by corporations plays an important role in meeting the expectations of women in the workplace.
Balancing compliance with traveler flexibility and personalization
As more Latin American and Caribbean companies embrace digital transformation, there is growing emphasis on technology investments that add flexibility and personalization for corporate travelers, many of which increasingly desire to participate in the shared economy. The ultimate aim, of course, is to provide greater choice, while maintaining adherence to corporate policies. The introduction and adoption of travel booking tools that track itineraries and expenses can significantly help here. The demographic, technological and economic changes we have seen in the region are just the beginning of what will be an exciting decade ahead.
And innovations that promote transparency, security and personalization continue to fuel further change in Latin America. Have a look at our report, Better Business, Smarter Travel, for more.