Latin America at the Touch of a Button

Despegar.com (www.despegar.com) today announced an agreement with Compaq Latin America Corporation that will provide Compaq users access to despegar.com through one of the buttons in Compaq`s easy access Internet keyboard.
Under the deal, certain lines of Compaq`s iPaq products distributed in Latin America will connect users to a Despegar-Compaq co-branded site through the keyboard button identified with an airplane symbol.
“As more Latin Americans get online, they are looking for fast, easy ways to connect to the Internet,” said Federico Fuchs, CFO of Despegar.com. “This alliance will enable despegar.com and Compaq to offer consumers direct and immediate access to one of the most rapidly growing Internet services in the region—online travel.”
Overall demand for PCs in Latin America has exploded with more than 1.5 million personal computers sold in the second quarter of 2000. Outperforming analysts` expectations, the region`s computer market posted its greatest growth in five years - an increase of 50 percent over 1999 sales. According to research firm IDC, the growth can clearly be attributed to Latin America`s increasing interest in the Net.
“Compaq is committed to offering consumers in Latin America the best solutions to facilitate Internet access,” said Gloria Vailati, Director of Internet Traffic Alliances for Compaq Latin America & Caribbean. “We sought to partner with despegar.com in order to provide Compaq users the convenience of making their travel plans at the touch of a button.”
Despegar.com`s agreement with Compaq promises to give the travel site a distinct advantage in targeting the burgeoning online population in Latin America. According to Jupiter Research, the online travel market in the region shows impressive growth figures and is estimated to reach $1.4 billion by 2005. Compaq is the clear leader in PC sales for Latin America.
Despegar.com has established itself as the category leader in online travel, launching its services in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, the U.S. and Spain. A technology pioneer, the company was the first to offer wireless travel services in Brazil through a partnership with Telefonica. In May, despegar.com closed a first round of financing for $10.5 million dollars from leading U.S. venture partners including Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, Merrill Lynch and Texas Pacific Group/Newbridge. In addition, the company received a strategic investment from the Accor Group, the largest owner/operator of hotels worldwide and the co-owner of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the second biggest travel agency in the world.
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