Ever since the failure last summer of one of Brazil’s top operators, Nascimento Turismo, the nation’s largest travel company, CVC, has pursued a go-it-alone growth plan. It announced at the outset of 2016, for instance, that it would no longer be a part of the myriad trade shows on the nation’s travel industry calendar. Instead, it would stage its own shows for agents and potential customers, throughout the nation.
And now, during a conference call with investors, the company’s president, Luiz Eduardo Falco, has said that CVC has in its strategic plan the opening of 300 stores between 2016 and 2018—or 100 locations a year for three years.
The move should help CVC blanket the country with its network in a nation where the distinction between operators and agencies is blurred; they often share the same office location. Currently, CVC has a network of just over 1,000 stores
In explaining the move to the company’s interior, Falco said that the country has 150 million inhabitants in the interior, compared with 50 million living in the capital region. “Despite the difference of financial power that separates these regions, we are talking about triple the population in this comparison,” he said, “so there’s plenty of room to grow CVC. We will give priority to the regions that today have less market share.” He pointed out that more than 50 percent of reservations confirmed by the company are from inside an agency.
Falco also noted that it is more financially advantageous to open a new store in smaller municipalities, seeming to suggest that rent and administrative costs are lower than in metropolitan locations and that the shops serve to better promote the brand.
It is unlikely that any other travel company in Brazil is in a position to challenge CVC, which—in addition to its mix of retail and B2B operations—offers both outbound and inbound services, as well as domestic product for its Brazilian customers. (In another move that is not altogether entirely unrelated, the Carlyle Group announced this past December that it is opening its 24th global office in São Paulo.)