Travelucion Media Investment Overview
Travelucion Media, now a wholly owned subsidiary of CUV Ventures Corp. (TSX-V: CUV), is a cash flow positive online travel and digital media marketing company that specializes in travel marketing, electronic reservations and online booking solutions for international visitors to Cuba. Travelucion Media managed one of the most significant portfolios of Cuban focused web assets with 432 websites collectively generating over 35 million page-views per year, directing traffic to the main booking and e-commerce sites. Since 1995 these websites have been promoting Cuba and offering online travel services to the Caribbean nation. The websites cover all facets of the island including specific tourist destinations, hotels and resorts, golf, spas, restaurants, classic car rentals, Cuban culture, health, commerce, food and much more.
Travelucion Media is a licensed, bonded and certified European Travel Supplier. However, the digital assets of the company date back over 20 years when Steve Marshall, engaged the Cuban Minister of Tourism to develop a web presence that would promote tourism to Cuba. This was during a time when the Cuban government was desperate to develop a tourism industry for much needed revenue. With an agreement in place, it was the desire of Mr. Marshall to break into the relatively non-existent online marketing and digital media sector in Cuba. This evolved into the acquisition of 432 domains and creation of multilingual Cuba centric websites which today generate over 35 million page views a year and have been developed to corner niche segments relating to almost every conceivable facet and location in Cuba. The intention of the company’s predecessor being to own a proprietary network of non Cuba domiciled web media assets which operate in unison to channel visitors toward e-commerce booking sites. Travelucion Media has also developed a strong social media platform consisting of passionate Cuba social media followers across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Travelucion Media has evolved into a dominant force in the travel sector to Cuba with a strong customer base in Europe and South America with a goal of breaking further into the North American market. Its predecessor company moved its Information Technology (IT) headquarters from Havana to Tenerife on the Canary Islands, Spain in 2006 where eventually in 2011 Travelucion Media was established. During the acquisition, the web assets and propriety systems now operating the websites and e-commerce sites were acquired by Travelucion from 3rd parties, moving the company into the e-commerce space and specifically the building of online booking platforms that are fed traffic from the websites. This now includes wholly owned technology guaranteeing bookings for hotels, private residences, car rentals, tours, and a variety of other types of bookings as well. Through legacy agreements with international Cuba focused travel companies and, Spanish GDS supplier Amadeus, Travelucion's emblematic e-commerce brands like Havanatur.com provide the company with access to a broader and more diverse portfolio of Cuban travel and tourism packages than any other travel provider. The company also has close relations with a Havana based foreign owned wholesale travel agency with an office providing representative and logistical onsite staff in Cuba to cater to client arrivals and personalized on-the-ground services, including high level VIP services. The company’s booking model is one where a customer can go online and build, with a shopping cart, their own unique vacation to truly experience Cuba. Over the years, Travelucion has serviced hundreds of thousands of customers booking travel to Cuba.
Travelucion Media generates its revenue through direct on-line sales through the e-commerce sites now owned and operated by the company. Travel services in Cuba are amply available across GDS platforms and through European wholesale agents such as Amadeus. Travelucion’s proprietary online booking systems have been developed to poll prices from each source to determine the lowest price and best travel options for customers. This is a competitive advantage unique to Travelucion Media and provides the company’s customers the ability to indulge in high end hotel and spa accommodations or create uniquely Cuban travel packages with exclusive private home rentals, antique car services and access to a multitude of guided or self-discovery tours across Cuba in addition to basic hotel and car rental bookings.
Travelucion Media also has a strong presence in the rapidly growing specialty and adventure travel sectors. The company’s predecessor was originally built around this type of business model catering to large groups of American travelers in the early 2000’s. In addition to hotel and car rental bookings, Travelucion Media offers a wide array of products including historic car rentals, private residences and B&B; bookings, specialty group tours sold through equity partner and Florida based IBTO, allowing group tour Americans to travel to Cuba. In particular, Travelucion Media will continue to build on its 4,000 private home (Casa Particulares) rental listings database using a model similar to that of Airbnb and HomeAway. The company is focused on developing its business to cater to the traveler who wants the freedom to buy this type of customized experience.Travelucion Media has recently signed an exclusive contract to market Cuban medical treatments across its 432 Cuban related websites. The value of the global medical tourism market by 2019 is estimated to be US $32.5 billion, and with rising healthcare costs and wait times in developed countries, Cuba is perfectly situated to become a key destination for this as it has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. As per the contract, Travelucion Media will keep a 10% commission on all medical procedures and treatments booked through its websites. This includes 252 medical procedures and treatments which will be offered through the websites, all of which are ISO 9001 compliant. They range from minor treatments and procedures to cosmetic and plastic surgery to major surgeries and cancer treatments.