Dozens of LATAM operators gathered at the "Travel in Latin America: the Big Picture" industry panel recently at the International Car Rental Show held at the Paris Las Vegas to learn about the latest travel trends impacting the car rental industry.
I served as a moderator and opened the session by providing context on the origins of the ICRS LATAM series with this statement: "Chris Brown and Bobit Media believed in the potential of a LATAM series, and I am happy to say we are here and stronger than ever. I am amazed to witness today's dramatic growth in the sheer number of operators."
Even with today's marketplace booming, operators need to continuously offer creative solutions and drive innovation for today's sophisticated LATAM traveler.
Freddy Dominguez, VP for LATAM at Expedia Group, agreed revealing data that shed light on today's LATAM traveler. He noted: "In LATAM, you have a traveler that values flexibility, and is planning more trips than ever before."
Manuel Torres, manager at Avanti Rent a Car, shared how his company is doing more with less. "Fleet limitations have led us to have to be more efficient in our operations," he said. "It's forced us to be a better operator."
Amelia Guevara, chief media officer of Mex Rent a Car, shared how her organization is benefitting from inclusive products offered by Expedia Group in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina by stating, " We immediately saw an increase in customer service scores across the board."
Jose Soriano, owner of Amerirent in Dominican Republic, shared his thoughts. "I feel that the topic was relevant and the crowd seemed very interested, this might be the best LATAM series yet!"
Christobal Herrera, general manager of Ocarrol Rent a Car in Chile, related how the information gained during the day will be instrumental in future decision making. "I will incorporate these new challenges within our organization and it will make us better. I enjoyed this educational experience."
We concluded the event by inviting participants to join the panelists on stage and take a group photo as a symbol of industry unity. This historic photo encapsulates the state of car rental in LATAM: healthy and unified.
About the Author: Edward Crespo is the vice president of business development for Economy Rent A Car in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and is spearheading its Global Affiliate Program.