Argentina: Latin American online travel agency Despegar is planning to double its global property inventory in the short-term rental market by the end of 2023 as it continues to bet heavily on the segment.
The company, known as Decolar [meaning “take off” – like Despegar in Spanish] in Brazil [the Portuguese-speaking market in Latin America], expects to expand its portfolio with more than 400,000 additional properties across the world, taking its global footprint to more than 860,000 units by the end of the year.
Such an expansion is the result of an integration with Expedia Group-owned vacation rental brand Vrbo as it looks ahead to growing its operations in Argentina and Colombia over the coming months. Despegar already offers vacation rental supply in Brazil and Mexico too.
Ivan Marenco, vice president vacation rentals at Despegar, told El Economista: “This was possible because of the technology we developed, which gives us the ability to scale. It is one of the most relevant to the group and a great bet for this vertical that is becoming more relevant every day.
“We know that travel habits have undergone absolute changes, and we want to have options for all types of travellers,” he added.
Despegar made its first big play in the vacation rental market by acquiring a 51 per cent majority stake in Brazilian channel manager Stays.net in March last year and then fellow OTA ViajaNet for $15 million, which was announced in May 2022.
After more than 20 years in operation, Despegar Group’s brands also Mexican travel tech platform Best Day and destination management company BDExperience, offline travel agency Viajes Falabella, B2B channel HotelDO, and buy now pay later [BNPL] solution Koin.
Despegar’s supply of properties for rent ranges from apartments to houses, cabins, condominiums, country houses, campsites and houseboats.