Starting a business in Argentina

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by James Drummond -- playargentina.com

I knew I had a lot to offer Argentina with my business background and contacts overseas to help shape, mould and develop a business that would effectively market Argentina to the masses that are totally unaware of it's treasures and potential as a world contender in World Travel.

After considerable research, I recognized that a huge number of Travel agents and Operators were all pretty much selling similar packages at similar prices. The competition was fierce and it was going to take a lot of time to get established as a preferred supplier. But I also recognized that there were few English speaking agents and very few that were punctual and proactive in providing travel solutions to potential customers.

After many years of working in Sport for adidas and owning my own Sport exhibition company, I decided to develop a concept which offered tours to Argentina with an emphasis on Sport.
Argentina has a proud history of sporting achievements and a passionate Fan base so I figured that the nuts and bolts were here and it was just a matter of putting them all together.

Since the economic crisis, it is far too costly for many teams to tour abroad and compete with international sides. Therefore the opportunity to work with Playargentina to develop contacts around the world to arrange fixtures for incoming tours was welcomed with open arms.

However, like many things that I have found in Argentina during my time here, what looks simple and workable at the start is totally unachievable without the right contacts that can open doors that would have normally otherwise remain closed. When I first started to have meetings to build my business, I must have met dozens of Argentines that told me they all had the right connections to help build the sort of network I knew I needed to be successful. But after time, I started to realize that the objectives I set were infact never achievable for many and in a lot of cases I never even got a reply or heard from a number of these Argentines again. I put it down to the fact that many can either just not say they can't do something or they can only see the prize and not comprehend there is a path to follow to attain the prize. The other issue of course is to work with local contacts that deliver what they promise in an ethical fashion.

One thing that I have learnt with a passionate interest in Sport is that it is a wonderful way to meet people. Through Rugby Club ties, I have been able to turn everything on it's head and network very effectively. My colleague plays Rugby at a high level here in BsAs and through him I was introduced to the Presidente to the Association of Argentina's Travel and Tourism. This is turn allowed me to source competitive wholesale travel packages and combine these with my contacts in Sport.

What I feel gives Playargentina an edge over other Argentine Travel Agents is our prompt and efficient service, in English, and the fact that being an Expat myself, allows me to understand the issues and concerns faced by incoming tourists and plan accordingly. This is a huge benefit for overseas clients both planning and traveling to a Spanish speaking country. On a number of occasions, I have contacted travel agents in BsAs myself acting as a potential client. Responses by email can sometimes take up to 2 to 3 weeks. I found when I was trying to make reservations and bookings that some agents would try and take advantage of the fact I was not Argentine and not only inflate prices but try and sell me products that did not match my expectations. I assume because many agencies here who deal direct with overseas clients recognize that they can inflate prices and still compete with overseas travel agents.

After my own experiences, feedback from others and constant reminders from local Argentines to take care, I guarantee a frank and honest service. If I can not source something my clients want or have to cut corners to meet budgets and therefore compromise my service, I will either refuse the business or make it clear what I am offering is something at their own discretion.........a rare commodity I have found in Argentina. The worst offenders are the Spanish Schools. Bearing in mind that many of the students want to pre-book accommodation and 'after class' activities before their arrival, the schools take full advantage of this and totally exploit them. What makes this worse is that the margins are rarely shared or reinvested into staff incentives but pocketed by the owners.

As part of our portfolio of services, we plan to develop an ongoing programme of special events and special offers. We would be happy to hear from anyone who has any ideas or suggestions to contact me at james@playargentina.com

We are shortly updating our website to include a web page specifically designed for weekend events and activities such as Horse trekking weekends, Go karting tournaments, VIP Rugby Internationals and Soccer packages as well as various Travel special offers.

As I say to all our clients "We Will Make It Happen!"

For further information regarding Playargentina, please see our website at www.playargentina.com

 

marcopolo66

Registered
Fantastic idea James and great to see that the doors finally opened for you.

Have you also considered providing football (soccer) coaching packages?

Best of luck
Mark
 
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