Argentina’s Despegar Launches into Property Rental Market to Compete with Airbnb

The online travel bookings platform is seeking to expand its presence in the property rental market in response to the pandemic-induced rise in remote working

Entre las decisiones que se tendrán que tomar en ausencia del primer ministro británico, Boris Johnson, está la de decidir si se refuerza, se amplía o se levanta el actual cierre, que ha hecho que todos los bares, restaurantes y tiendas no esenciales permanezcan cerradas y que se inste a la gente a trabajar desde casa.
By Belén Escobar (EN)
August 16, 2022 | 02:21 PM

Buenos Aires — Amid the shifts in travelers’ habits and in view of the growth of the hybrid work modality, in which vacation rentals have become more sought after by remote workers, Argentine travel company Despegar plans to enter the temporary property rental market. .

The company will seek to compete with companies already established in the space, such as Airbnb and Booking, which charge in US dollars in Argentina.

“Today there are millions of people who use the anywhere office, some companies have extended their vacation policies and trends such as ‘workation’ have emerged, which allows people to extend their stay and schedule trips for longer periods of time,” the company said.

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Despegar said that, according to several private sector studies, it is estimated that the online vacation rentals market will experience 40% growth to 2024, compared to 2019 figures, and accounting for 17% of all accommodation rentals.

Property supply growing in Latin America

Despegar’s intention is to boost the supply of properties for rent in the region, given that it currently has almost 420,000 worldwide, of which 68,000 are in Latin America, a number that has almost tripled so far in 2022.

The company says it plans to accelerate its offering even more in the coming months having acquired a 51% stake in Stays.net.

Despegar’s portfolio currently consists of 265,000 apartments, 97,000 houses, 17,000 cabins and another 40,000 properties that include condominiums, country houses, campsites and houseboats.

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The most sought-after destinations

According to Despegar, the destinations with the highest demand for this type of accommodation in Argentina are Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Córdoba, followed by Ushuaia and Iguazú, while in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are in great demand.

A study carried out by the University of San Andrés for Microsoft Argentina found that “more and more organizations, work teams and collaborators are experiencing hybrid work as a new labor reality”.

“Given the expectations generated by this new possibility, there are also challenges that managers and executives must take into account when establishing new hybrid dynamics for their teams,” the report states.

Eighty-two percent of workers in Argentina consider that “they are equally or more productive since they became remote or hybrid workers a year ago”, compared to 81% of the global percentage, according to the report.

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