Mittwoch, 22. Juni 2011

Pura Vida Costa Rica - the place with the happiest people on earth and online usage still in development!

I already published two interviews from Costa Rica. Even the country is very small compared to all others I have visited - the economic growth offline and online will probably increase a lot during the next couple of years. Even our Federal President was surprised how far developed the country already is as he visited Costa Rica a couple of weeks ago.

One of my last interview partners during my 2 months travel in South- and Central America was Alberto Arguedas - Director of the German Chamber of Commerce (AHK) in Costa Rica. The main task of the Chamber is the same as in Argentina and Chile.
Mr. Arguedas provided a comprehensive overview about the online activities of the chamber itself as well as the general development in Costa Rica from different perspectives.

Own online services and activities

The AHK Costa Rica is the 2nd biggest Chamber in Central America and has around 110 members already. They establish themselves with online activities as a pioneer in whole Central America already. The team of Mr. Arguedas use the corporate AHK content management system Typo 3 and they are able to create their own structure and contents. In the meantime they offer a lot of information brochures and presentations which is appreciated by members and visitors. 

Dienstag, 7. Juni 2011

How to plan your offline-holiday with a online-focused travel agency in Costa Rica

Traveling is an exceptional way to educate yourself, get open-minded to different cultures, ways of living & thinking and seeing countrysides or animals you might never imagined they even exist. 

Due to my interview with Alex Jensen from SIXT I also got in contact with Mauricio Alfaro – one of the owners of a very well established inbound travel agency here in Costa Rica and one of the partners of  the SIXT franchise system as well. “Costa Rican Trails” (CRT)offers very interesting tour packages to enjoy some outstanding holidays. But they also have a very good reputation in using the online channel as their main way of customer communication. 

Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011

Explore Costa Ricas countryside with the comfort of a rental car!

While traveling with public transport through the amazing landscape of Costa Rica and experiencing the fascinating and friendly culture of the so called Ticos, I realized there is so much to see and to explore – so the next time I probably will choose a rental car to get around the country. 
As you might remember I already had the possibility to visit the SIXT office in Argentina. So I was very pleased to get the possibility to speak with Alex Jensen – the General Manager of SIXT in Costa Rica about the local market here and the way he is already using the online channel as an important sales instrument.
Market view
Mr. Jensen is very experienced in the car rental business. After a bit of market research he took the possibility to focus on a new target group for the Costa Rican market– the European travelers. In cooperation with a well established tour operator, an additional partner and SIXT as a franchise company they opened the business in 2005. 

Montag, 16. Mai 2011

Chile is seen as market entry area for South America for many branches already

As Santiago is the biggest business city in Chile I got in contact with Antje Wandelt – Director of DEInternational at the German Chamber of commerce (AHK) there.
It was very interesting for me to compare Argentina and Chile with each other. Countries always appear quite similar if you look at them from a distant perspective but once you get more into the details – quite a lot of differences appear.
As any other chamber of commerce they act as a contact point for German companies mainly in terms of providing business information and contacts in Chile, branch specific information and possibilities to enter a new market and set up a business successfully.

Chamber of commerce - Website use and Internet spread

The chamber itself is working with two main websites, and The DEinternational website is set up as an own brand for standardized business center communication for different countries. The camchal website is more targeted towards providing current news around the countries, branches and regions as well as informing them about upcoming projects and results of past projects. As 3rd option the Chilenian chamber takes part in a B2B renewable energy platform where companies can provide their own services in this sector to be found by others – it has similarities to the yellow page entry in Germany.

Samstag, 14. Mai 2011

Internet as an important future channel for a charity project in Paraguay

Have you ever visited a very poor country and afterwards started to think about helping the people there somehow – not only with money –  far more with the kind of basic education and mechanics that is needed to set up their own life successfully?
I met a young women from Michigan who followed exactly these roads. I found her story very interesting and touching. If this wasn’t reason enough to ask her for an interview, Internet use is a necessity in her project, to communicate and seek out future sales channels.

During her university study 3 years ago she had the opportunity to take part in a global perspectives and service exchange program in Nicaragua. During her stay there she visited a garbage dump where thousands of people were living. Unable to do much at the time, she went home thinking about how after graduation she could serve people living in similar places in South America. She contacted a school in the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion that educated children living in the dump.  Tarah spent 4 months there teaching English to first graders, and through this she was able to meet the women in the children’s lives, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers.