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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Oribitz lags other online travel agencies in some respects, but every once in awhile, as with its price assurance policies and now with Orbitz en Español, it gets out front of its competitors.
This morning Orbitz announced Spanish-language mobile and desktop sites targeted toward Spanish-speaking travelers in the U.S.
Although there are other Spanish-language travel sites, Orbitz claims its new mobile/desktop offering is “the only full-service Spanish language travel website targeting the U.S. market.”
The Orbitz en Español mobile site, which features mobile-exclusive discounts in more than 240 cities globally, is the only mobile site supporting air and hotel vacation-package bookings, Orbitz boasts.
The Orbitz Spanish-language initiative follows publication of a Nielsen study earlier this year showing that U.S. Hispanics, in some respects, “often lead the general market as early adopters of emerging technologies.”
Among the findings, Nielsen states:
- 60% of Latino households own at least one smartphone with video and Internet-browsing capabilities compared with 43% for the overall market;
- When compared with non-Hispanic whites in the U.S., Hispanics are 28% more likely to own smartphones; and
- U.S. Hispanics are three times more likely (9% versus 3%) to access the Internet via a mobile device while not having Internet at home than are non-Hispanic whites.
“Fifty-six percent of U.S. Hispanics are Spanish-preferring and moving to book on mobile devices at a rate three times faster than the general population,” says Chris Orton, president of Orbitz.com. “By offering both computer and mobile sites for Spanish speakers in the U.S. that combine ease of booking and great prices and selection, Orbitz is clearly the best choice for travel.”
While you can debate whether Orbitz is “the best choice for travel, it is clear that the online travel agency, which has offered Spanish-speaking telesales agents for more than five years, hopes to cash in on the growing mobile power of Hispanic consumers.
Orbitz en Español currently offers air, car, hotel and packages, and plans to bolster the offering with cruise and event tickets in 2013.
Below is the Nielsen report, “State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative”