Kayak.com lands in Colombia

Avianca plane
Avianca plane

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ravel search engine giant Kayak.com made a soft landing in Colombia in February, when it launched the beta version of its Spanish-language .co domain, Kayak.com.co

The new domestic site is totally integrated with the Kayak U.S. edition, which is a behemoth of data, consulted by a billion users every year, and growing.

The Connecticut-based company revolutionized online ticket buying when it broke on the dot-com scene back in 2004 with founders Paul English and Steve Hafner.

The consumer tech start-up was so innovative that less than a decade later, Kayak.com went public and was acquired by the Priceline Group for $1.8 billion. Priceline currently owns other online giants, Booking.com, Agoda.com and Rentalcars.com.

Now it’s Colombia’s turn to be part of the cyberspace ticket comparison experience – from getting the best web deal on a domestic flight to a discounted room in a five star hotel.

“We saw that Colombia was trending on Kayak and felt it was time to establish a close working relationship with the country,” said Nikolas Scafuro, managing director for Latin America.

Kayak’s portfolio consists of 400 airlines and 900,000 hotels. To expand its highly competitive Colombia deals, the company forged alliances with leading travel operators Atrapalo, Aviatur and Despegar. So, from either your desktop or mobile, you can compare the best rates on a busy route or book ahead for that remote outback adventure.

Kayak operates in 30 countries and in 20 languages. Its app is one of the most popular — 500,000 downloads each year — and a necessity for the efficient business traveler. Up-to-the-minute notifications include airport gate changes and sudden flight cancelations.

With the world wide web getting increasingly crowded with travel “supermarkets” such as Expedia and Orbitz, Kayak wants to personalize the “country” experience, by sorting through complex multi-city itineraries to present the most efficient way to get from one destination to the next, including by car.

The company’s E.U. site offers clients comprehensive rail service itineraries.

After launching in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, Kayak turns to Colombia to meet the growing demand of travelers to this country. And the United States leads with most tourists, followed by Spain, Brazil, Germany and Canada. The most popular destinations? Medellín, Cartagena and Bogotá.

“The demand for travel among Colombians has grown along with the number of providers and online offerings,” states Scafuro. “We develop ticket with three priorities in mind: speed, simplicity and complete results. “


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