From the lifting of visa restrictions to hosting their first ever Olympic games, there are substantial shifts in travel for Latin Americans in 2016. Sojern’s Q2 2016 Latin America Travel Insights: Pocket Guide contains all of the travel trends in the first half of the year and a look forward at travel to come, including two major ways Latin America is transforming travel this year.
1. Removing Visa Restrictions Reveals New Markets
On December 2, 2015 the EU and Colombia lifted restrictions that required visas for visits. The increase in searches from Colombia to the EU was immediate and dramatic, including:
- 131% more searches in May of 2016 compared to May of 2015.
- 3% increase in flight bookings out of Colombia in May 2016 compared to May 2015.
- Share of those bookings for Europe increased significantly by 7%.
These visa restrictions aren’t merely ceremonial but have a significant impact on global travel trends. Latin American travel marketers take note: you’ve got new competition and should re-think your current marketing strategy to grab European traveler’s. European travel marketers, you’ve got good news— a large, interested new market is clamoring to spend with you.
2. Shifts in Global Interest for Olympics
The upcoming Olympics are mired in controversy due, in large part, to the economic and political instability of Brazil. Despite these challenges, we’ve seen travel intent to the Olympics remain steady, although different origin markets demonstrate varied levels of intent. For example:
- The United States, which ranks the highest in searches, has an 18% increase in travel intent from Q1 to Q2.
- Japan, on the other hand, shows an increase of 130% from Q1 to Q2. The UK has an increase of 110%, followed by Brazil at 105%.
Controversy isn’t turning away all global markets and this is important story to tell, especially for Latin America. The Olympics remains a magnet for global travel.
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Catlyn is Sojern's Content Marketing Manager. She loves playing video games and hiking with her dog, Dottie. Her favorite part of travel is the food, preferring street food to fine dining.
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