MARKETER INTERVIEW: AirBnb’s Jordi Torres on the LatAm Marketing Strategy

What: Jordi Torres, general director of Airbnb for Latin America, spoke with Portada about their latest marketing strategies for expansion in the region.
Why It Matters: AirBnb has revolutionized the hospitality industry at an international level. Today, the start up operates in more than 190 countries, and its profits increased by 59.2% between 2014 and 2015.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and that adage applies perfectly to Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. Upon learning that the rent for their apartment in San Francisco would increase by 25%, they created a platform so that acquaintances and neighbors could offer their houses and rooms for rent to the assistants working on an important event in the city.

That month, the entrepreneurs made a a thousand dollars. Today, Airbnb is worth US $25 billion dollars according to The State of Airbnb Hosting, a study conducted by Overbooked and LearnAirbnb.

Of the two million accommodations that Airbnb offers in almost 191 countries and more than 33,000 cities, 10% are located in Latin America, according to Jordi Torres, the general director of Airbnb for Latin America. "In Latin America, our biggest challenge in terms of marketing revolves around getting to know Airbnb, for both travelers in the region and hosts," he explains.

Airbnb will look to transform the region, adding more guests and hosts. "The idea is to focus on domestic trips, and see the impact on cities that aren't typically touristy," says Torres.

Of the two million accommodations that Airbnb offers in almost 191 countries and more than 33,000 cities, 10% are located in Latin America.

To achieve this, the company, in which investors like Ashton Kutcher have placed their faith, tries to inspire travelers. One of the most important programs is called "Night At," through which adventurers are shown the magic accommodation alternatives like staying in El Chavo del Ocho's neighborhood in Mexico or a private, floating house in the Great Coral Reef in Australia.

Furthermore, the company wants to maintain a close relationship with its community. As a part of that effort, the company is running special campaigns that adapt to the different contexts in which they run. An example of this is the #StayWithMe campaign that was recently launched in Brazil during the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, which was produced and co-directed by the hosts themselves. "Without scripts or actors, just the community in its maximum splendor," says Torres.

"Videos have been promoted by Brazilian audiences on Facebook and YouTube with different targets: one for the community and Airbnb fans, and another for those that don't know about Airbnb, but love to travel," he explains.

"A sense of community is one of the most important values that Airbnb's success has encouraged."

"Hospitality and collaboration within the community have always been present, but now there are different technological advances through which people can connect and collaborate more easily, and with greater versatility."

With this scenario, Airbnb has been favored by shifts in the preferences of those that seek more personalized products. According to the University of Pennsylvania study conducted in 12 cities, Airbnb's profits increased by 59.2% between 2014 and 2015, with an annual profit of $1.3 billion.


Ximena Cassab @xcassab

Ximena is a Swiss-Mexican journalist based in Mexico City where she specialized in business, and travel topics. Graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she has worked as an editor at the magazines Expansión , Aire and Accent, from Expansion Group. Currently she is working with different media in Spanish and English independently. She is a passionate traveler who does not miss the opportunity to see a new place in the world.

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