The recently announced move by Brazil’s largest tour operator/travel agency—CVC—that it has retained JTB Americas to serve CVC’s customers New York, Florida and California in the United States, suggests that it is trying to expand its footprint in both North America and South America through the synergy brought about by its partnership with JTB and the latter’s global network, which includes subsidiaries in Brazil.
In making the move, CVC ended its contract with US Travel, a receptive operator that bills itself as “the largest tour operator in New York (City) that exclusively serves Brazilian customers” and whose own product portfolio is almost exclusively within the confines of New York City. CVC also ended its contract with Orlando-based Alltour.
Judging by the remarks of Fábio Mader, CVC’s director of international products, the changeover to JTB took place around the same time as the company was close to acquiring the operator Grupo Trend, one of the largest tour operators in Brazil. It also has a substantial presence in Orlando and southern Florida.
According to a report in the Brazilian travel trade publication, PANROTAS, Mader said “as the contracts with previous suppliers were to win, CVC has carried out a competitive process in these regions, that has happens every few years.” Several local suppliers participated, including the previous suppliers (US Travel and Alltour), and JTB was the winner “considering quality standard, prices and service provision recommended by CVC.”
The Japanese Connection: JTB is uniquely positioned to sell and service the products of CVC which sells both domestic and international tours and packages in Brazil. JTB’s major Brazilian subsidiary Alatur JTB, has a substantial presence in the country and has sold the country to Japanese travelers for more than 25 years.
Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside Japan. One 2013 report said that there were approximately 1.8 million people of Japanese descent in Brazil. The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil in 1908 and they have had a solid presence in the country’s business and industrial sectors for decades. Currently, Japan is Brazil’s sixth largest trading partner (behind China, the U.S., Argentina, Netherlands and Germany) and it sends a sizable number of corporate and MICE travelers to Brazil through Alatur JTB, which has been voted the best corporate travel agency in Brazil.†
† According to a 2016 study by PANROTAS