In 2011, the total contribution of the industry to world GDP was $6.3 trillion, the equivalent of 9%, and in Peru this percentage was slightly higher, with tourism revenues equating to 9.2% of Peru’s total GDP ($17 billion).
Online travel agencies are becoming the preferred way for travelers to book their business trips and holidays, and travel group Costamar
is evolving with the times.
Costamar is a U.S.-based travel group that offers travel and tourism services with the hallmarks of professionalism and value. Its corporate division enables business travelers to save time and money by taking advantage of the company’s technology and excellent customer service.
With a consolidated leadership position in the tourism industry, the group comprises Costamar Agencias, Costamar Travel, Costamar Tours and the business sector-focused Costamar Corporate, as well as the on-line platform Costamar.com. Together, they have achieved a significant impact in the Hispanic market in the United States and a strong position in the Latin American market.
Costamar has 67 offices in the U.S. and a further 16 in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Columbia. It is looking to exploit Peru’s untainted beauty to attract more visitors to the country. In 2011, 20.1% of the people who visited Peru came from the U.S., and Costamar provides direct flights to Lima from a number of destinations, including Miami, New York and Los Angeles.
Costamar was founded in 1980 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to offer services to local travel agencies. It soon expanded to include offices throughout the state and in New York. Today, the company provides all tourist services, from flights to car rentals, or entire packages. The agency began implementing e-business strategies in 2000. As technology and consumer demands evolve, online travel agencies have become increasingly popular.
This has been a revolution in tourism, not just in Peru, but all over the globe. Gerardo Concas, President of Costamar in Peru, realizes the value of the online market.
“The traditional industry has been shaken up by the online travel agencies and our plans for internationalization will be through the website,” says Mr. Concas.
The company’s president places faith in the people who work for Costamar to maintain its image and continue its growth.
“We have a global presence. In Peru, we are market leaders and we are also very strong in the U.S. and Colombia. Day by day, we are developing tools that will allow us to find the best agents and people with the most experience. The war today is not only won with technology, but also with service and by knowning more about the product. We will survive if we know more about our product and we can present it in the correct way to the people who need it,” he says.
With the power of the Internet and its ability to connect the world, Costamar has exploited what was once niche market, but today seems a normal way of purchasing travel packages.