Not letting up on nor reducing its expansion plans, CVC, Brazil’s largest travel company—the CVC group includes the tour operator and travel agency CVC, Rextur Advance (an agency-only business) and Submarino Viagens, an online travel agency—kicked off 2017 by announcing its acquisition of Experimento, one of Brazil’s oldest education agencies.
CVC became involved in the study travel sector in January 2016 through a new division (Intercâmbio) that focused on language travel. It subsequently opened a number of retail agency stores to promote the product.
The latest acquisition will open the company up to an even broader segment of the study travel market. Experimento offers high school, university and vocational programs overseas, as well as language courses and holiday programs. It also provides opportunities to work abroad, including au pair positions and work/study programs.
CVC aims to expand the Experimento brand by opening up 30 new stores in Brazil over the next three years. “The Experimento acquisition allows us to expand the CVC student exchange programs segment and with the CVC Intercâmbio brand will complement our portfolio and further strengthen our relationship with trading partners and distribution channels,” Pedro Aparicio, CVC Group treasurer and investor relations, told The PIE News, an international education news site.
The move also fits into the long-term growth vision of the CVC’s CEO, Luiz Eduardo Falco, who believes that more Brazilians should learn to speak English. About five percent of Brazilians speak English, according to a report released several years ago by the British Council. In a wide-ranging interview in early 2015, Falco said that learning English would help to strengthen demand for travel destinations where English is spoken—principally the USA. But, more important, Falco indicated at the time, it would strengthen Brazil competitively on the international business marketplace.
Not Quite the Goal of 100: Early last year CVC announced its intention to build a 100 new travel agency stores a year for three years—a wildly improbable goal, most observers in the nation’s travel and tourism industry thought. According to its year-end report, the company almost achieved the goal. It opened 91 new stores in 2016, closing out the year with a total of 1,095 leisure stores.
And in a year that travel businesses measured success merely by how it was able to reduce losses, CVC reported The CVC Group (composed of CVC, Rextur Advance and Submarino Viagens) sold 8.8 billion reais ($2.7 billion) in tourism products and services last year, a growth of 1.5 percent over 2015. While online travel sales were weak, the tour operator division of the company closed 2016 with 5.5 billion reais ($1.7 billion), an increase of 6.5 percent over 2015.