Flytour sells R$820 million in July, a report, and CEO Cohen celebrates: “My feeling was proper”
In October 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, businessman Marcelo Cohen bought Flytour for 500 million reais and now expects to earn BRL 6 billion in 2022
After seeing the business drop to practically zero in the most angry phase of the pandemicthe operator of corporate tourism Flytour had sales of 820 million reais in July.
It is a record monthly volume for the company, founded in 1974 by entrepreneur Eloi D’Ávila de Oliveira and today with more than 670 points of sale throughout Brazil.
In October 2021, Flytour was sold for 500 million reais to Belvitur, a traditional tourism agency in Belo Horizonte commanded by the Minas Gerais businessman. Marcelo Cohen.
What is BeFly
In recent months, Cohen has been keen to buy companies with some foot in the tourism market.
In January, Cohen took the São Paulo operator queensberryfocused on employee incentive travel and luxury packages.
Founded in London in 1971, the agency was facing a process of judicial recovery with debts of 50 million reais boosted, in good measure, by the pandemic.
Six months later, Cohen took the Qualitoursof luxury cruises.
All this to form the BeFlya holding company with more than 30 businesses for very different audiences.
Who is part of BeFly?
- flytour: corporate travel agency
- Belvitur: multi-brand agency, with integrated services such as exchange offices
- gofly: network of travel sales franchises for class C
- queensberry: luxury travel and employee incentive travel operator
- Qualitours: operator specializing in high-end cruises
- TechTravel: platform for managing corporate reservations (TMCs)
- OpenTrips: developer of corporate travel technologies
- 3Sixty: startup for events
- Guide121: artificial intelligence technology for customer experience
- mobility: multimodal platform for corporate mobility services
- Six Senses: ‘post-luxury’ hotel with a unit on the outskirts of Campos do Jordão (SP)
- TRYP by Wyndham São Paulo is an exclusive hotel for passengers at São Paulo International Airport (GRU)
What is cross selling
On the list are technology businesses such as the Vai Voando website, a franchise network for the sale of discounted air tickets aimed at passengers on a tighter budget — and a preference for cheap trips across Brazil.
Flytour’s sales record has a lot to do with Cohen’s envisioned tourism business ecosystem. “Cross-selling brought forward numbers to 2022 that are only expected for 2024,” he says.
cross-sellingin general, is the strategy of offering to the client of a holding company the products or services of other businesses of the same group.
It is a way of alleviating the customer acquisition cost — a salty bill for many companies.
How Flytour grew with cross-selling
In practice, Cohen’s bet is to explore new sources of revenue with the base of 700,000 consumers with a monthly purchase on BeFly.
“I have a Queensberry team dedicated to Flytour customers, for example,” he says. “A corporate employee incentive trip, sold by Flytour, may have leisure programming marketed by Queensberry.”
THE resumption of travel in this milder phase of the pandemic it also contributed a lot to the result of Flytour.
In the first two months of 2022, there was a 29% growth in trips compared to the same period last year, according to IBGE data.
“They said corporate travel was going to end in an era of Zoom, Google Meets, Teams and more, but that was never my bet,” says Cohen. “I have always believed in ‘shake hands’ Live. Had it given to this? No, but my feeling was right.”
Who is Marcelo Cohen?
Created in 1963 by businessman David Cohen, Marcelo’s father, Belvitur was the largest tour operator in Minas Gerais before becoming the embryo of BeFly.
Known in the sector for its attentive look at finances, Belvitur grew without the ecstasy seen in the competition. Since he was young, Marcelo has worked in the family business.
With the acquisition of Flytour, Marcelo Cohen drew attention in the tourism market.
One of the most traditional travel agencies in Brazil, Flytour was suffering from the impact of the pandemic.
A debt of 142 million reais with no prospect of repayment in a scenario of closed air borders forced the company to enter an extrajudicial recovery.
Among the creditors were banks such as Bradesco, Banco do Brasil and Itaú.
By 2022, BeFly is expected to earn more than 6 billion reais.
With this size, it is the largest company in the sector with privately held in Latin America.
where are the challenges
Amidst the ‘Brigadier sky’, some clouds can bring risks to BeFly.
One of them is the escalation of costs — airfares have risen 77% in the last 12 months in Brazil, according to Anac, the national civil aviation agency.
There is still the chaos faced by tourists at airports of the United States and Europe in the middle of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
After two years of downsizing to face the pandemic, the administrators of global hubs such as Heathrow, in London, and Schipol, in Amsterdam, asked the airlines to cancel flights due to a lack of ground personnel to meet the demand.
All this is far from bothering Cohen. “Airport disruption will be passenger” he says. “The return of travel demand, on the other hand, is here to stay.”