Civitatis looks optimistically at 2022
The firm has managed to recover business levels prior to the pandemic and seeks to evolve in its format
Civitatis, is the world leader in guided tours in Spanish, has had a great reception in the Latin American market thanks to its selected catalog of products at the destination at the best price, respecting the rates of its local partners and going for more. To know the details, during the Tianguis Turístico, we were able to interview its founder and CEO Alberto Gutiérrez Pascual.
How was the company born and how were the first years of operations?
In the first 6 years I was alone, in 2014 I opened the first office and started hiring people and from 2016 especially we started to think big, we made a change in communication, with a new brand image and we started to open new offices and to do offline marketing. In 2017 we started running ads on television and since then the growth has been exponential.
There have always been guided tours, but no one was selling them online until we arrived. Travelers bought them at the hotel or at the tourist office or went to a local supplier, what we have done has been to digitize it to be able to plan each activity in advance. We have always looked for activities in the client's language, for example, we have tours in Spanish all over the world, something that is not so easy to achieve. Today our clients can hire a guide in China who speaks Spanish. Now we are replicating it into four other languages. We have tours in English, Portuguese and French.
How many agencies have registrations today?
We started with a consumer-oriented platform, but since 2018 we have started to generate business relationships with agencies and in the first month there were 4,000 registered because there was a lot of interest. Now we are at 17000 and entering new markets, recently we started in Italy where 4000 agencies have been registered in a very short period of time. In fact, they worked with an Italian supplier and they left it to start with us because they have seen the differential value that we have.
In a market halted by the pandemic, how have you worked for the reopening?
In the pandemic, about 120 people continue to work in the company. Before the health crisis we had 29,000 activities and now we have 62,000, that is, we have doubled our catalog, we have done the same with travel agencies, we had 10,000 registered and today we already have 17,000. It has been a significant investment, but thanks to that now We are already with sales levels higher than November 2019, we are seeing reflected the work we have done in this time and in 2022 we will continue to increase destinations, experiences and collaborators.
We have come to the Tianguis to enhance our collaboration with agencies in Mexico and the reception has been very good.
What's new for 2022?
One of our projects for this year is to replicate the model of travel agencies with hotels, they can sell us in two ways or directly at the reception with what they think is better and we have the added value of being 100% online that is, when the traveler makes the reservation they already have their hotel, but they are looking for their tours. In fact, we have met here hoteliers who have online concierge service and who recommend without earning anything, here they realize that working with us they can do it, but earning a commission and also ensuring that the service.
For the Spanish-speaking market we are the benchmark and we have high customer satisfaction. There is no one who does what we do for the market here in Latin America. Argentina and Mexico are our most important markets in the region. Colombia is working well and the truth is that we see adding clients throughout the rest of the continent.