It is not a surprise to anyone that the region of Latin-American has faced critical socioeconomics changes in recent years. Moreover, countries that have relevant travel markets, such as Brazil and Mexico, have not been immune to these changes. In this sense, the local travel industry has felt the impacts, especially those related to work dynamics.
Important changes in lifestyle have been observed. In order to reach personal aspirations, people have sought more flexibility in their work conditions. It is very common to see youngers putting aside the dream of ‘work for a lifetime’ and opting to become their own bosses – whether through entrepreneurship, freelance jobs or shorter work contracts.
This new relationship with work brings important changes to the tourism industry, such as the duration and number of trips. As professionals move away from the traditional ‘9am to 5pm’ work routine and the scheduled 30-days vacations, they opt for shorter trips, taking advantage of holidays. In addition, with the barriers between work and leisure becoming more blurred, these professionals also have a stronger voice in business travel decisions. A good example is the search for alternative accommodations over the traditional options in order to have a more personalized and ‘human’ experience. In this regard, we see the growth of alternative accommodations options, such as short-term rentals that are already a strong trend in North America and Europe, but in Latin America are still a novelty. Short-term rentals intermediaries will become a viable alternative to traditional hotels near districts when it comes to business; global market research Euromonitor International forecasts that these intermediaries will double their market size in Latin America, reaching $ 2.2 billion by 2020.
The travel industry is already attentive to this new, and unique, kind of traveler. In 2014, Airbnb took its first steps to attract business tourists by launching a platform dedicated exclusively to them. This platform brings a listing of accommodations featuring the typical features demanded by business travelers, such as wi-fi and clothing iron. Shortly thereafter, the company launched the Airbnb for Business, an enhanced version of this platform, where users can make their own reservations and have their charges posted directly to the company’s account.
These changes in life values brought by those who value more the human element and the personalized experience will change the dynamics of business trips. The travel industry must remain attentive to this group in order to meet the preferences that are being emerged with this new type of consumer.