Electronic payments support tourism in Latin America & the Caribbean

By Carlos Andres Sabogal, Cross Border Leader, Visa Latin America, and the Caribbean

Visa, the global payments technology company, plays an important role in supporting the expansion of the infrastructure of electronic payments in Latin America and the Caribbean, thus improving conditions for tourism.
There are great opportunities to improve the acceptance of electronic payments in tourism destinations in the region and create better conditions to facilitate and increase tourist spending.  Electronic payments contribute to the development of tourism, as they offer travelers a secure, convenient and fast way to pay for products and services, before and during their trips.
We have one of the world’s largest electronic payments networks and use advanced analytics to identify general trends and insights to help improve tourism planning and offerings. We collaborate with the travel industry ecosystem to understand who the tourists are, what their profiles and characteristics are; how, when and why they define the destinations they will visit; and identify their consumption preferences.
Should you be interested in learning more about how to encourage tourists to switch from cash to electronic payments, or to add payments technology solutions to your tourism offerings, contact Carlos Andres Sabogal, Senior Director, Cross Border, Visa Latin America and the Caribbean, csabogal@visa.com.



Tourism collaboration examples
In Mexico, Visa partnered with the Secretary of Tourism to promote acceptance of electronic payments and improve the consumer experience of tourists in the Pueblos Magicos (Magical Villages), smaller villages that traditionally accept cash only. It is estimated that small businesses and local artisans would increase sales up to 30 percent* when they start accepting debit and credit cards via cell phone; and creating a banking infrastructure for merchants and lenders in towns across Mexico is key to increasing tourist consumption.
In Argentina, Visa launched an international marketing campaign to promote foreign tourism. The campaign, called “Traveling with Visa is more than just travel,” complements the benefits implemented by the Argentinean government to refund the value-added tax (VAT) for foreign tourists, when they pay for lodging expenses with electronic payments. In combination with the government’s own efforts, this campaign constitutes an important incentive to drive higher activity in Argentina’s tourism industry.
Additionally, Visa is supporting cross-border campaigns in relevant corridors by timely matching consumer interests and needs with specific tourism destinations in the region. For example, through social media and digital ads on particularly cold US winter days, we target consumers with ads promoting tourism in Mexico’s beach destinations because this is when they are more prompt to book these vacations.
*Source: Payment Facilitator – Sr. Pago