Important Legal Information
This report includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update publicly or to revise any forward-looking statements. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this report. The words “believe,” “may,” “should,” “aim,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “will,” “expect” and similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include information concerning our possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, capital expenditures, financing plans, competitive position, industry environment, potential growth opportunities, the effects of future regulation and the effects of competition. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic, and governments' extraordinary measures to limit the spread of the virus, are disrupting the global economy and the travel industry, and consequently adversely affecting our business, results of operation and cash flows and, as conditions are uncertain and changing rapidly, it is difficult to predict the full extent of the impact that the pandemic will have or when travel will resume at pre-pandemic levels. Considering these limitations, you should not make any investment decision in reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this report. This report addresses a multitude of topics to meet the requests and interests of Despegar's wide range of stakeholders. Due to the varied interests of these groups, this report includes certain information that Despegar.com believes is not material to the company as such term is defined under applicable securities laws. Accordingly, the inclusion of information in this report should not be construed as a characterization regarding its materiality or significance for any other purpose, including for purposes of applicable securities laws. For a discussion of information that is material to Despegar.com, please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 20-F.
Despegar's journey began in 1999 with the objective to revolutionize the Latin American travel industry. Today, more than two decades later, we believe our Company's innovative approach to travel, deep understanding of the various local communities we serve as well as dynamic and nimble corporate culture enable us to be the partner of choice for Latin Americans who want to discover the world.
As I write this letter, we are in the midst of a recovery from a global pandemic. This has been a defining moment for society and for Despegar too. We are very proud of our response to this challenge: fostering a continuous dialog with our stakeholders, implementing strong risk management policies and making sustainability a cornerstone of the Company. We have continued focusing on our clients while increasing our investments in after-sales: our IT team developed automation solutions to optimize “Mis Viajes” (a self-service after-sales feature) and we increased the number of employees in the customer service area by more than 60%.
Our second Sustainability Report summarizes relevant initiatives in connection with our ESG policy:
Although we acknowledge that this journey has just begun, we are proud of the achievements we have made on the environmental front. In 2021, we planted 620 trees in the Province of Córdoba, Argentina that we call “Despegar Forest” in order to compensate for the carbon emissions generated in connection with work at Despegar's offices and our employees' home offices. Additionally, we are evaluating alternatives to promote sustainable travel options within our value proposition. We understand that sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement. As such, Despegar is committed to keep progressing and engaging our teams, our customers and our community along the path to a more sustainable future.
We hope that, through this report, you will appreciate the efforts and progress we made throughout 2021. There's much more coming! As always, thank you for your support.
Despegar is the leading travel company in Latin America. For over two decades, it has revolutionized the tourism industry through technology. With its ongoing commitment to the development of the travel sector, Despegar has consolidated the Best Day, Viajes Falabella, Hoteldo, Stays, Viajanet and Koin (the Company's fintech business) brands, becoming one of the most relevant companies in the region and offering a tailor-made travel experience for more than 29 million customers.
Despegar operates in 20 countries in the region, accompanying Latin Americans from the moment they dream of traveling until they share their memories. With the purpose of creating experiences that enrich people's lives and transforming the travel shopping experience, we have developed alternative payment methods and financing options, helping democratize access to travel and bringing Latin Americans closer to their next travel experience. Despegar trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DESP). For more information, please visit (https://investor.despegar.com/)
In 2021, Despegar performed its First Sustainability Materiality Assessment to determine the most relevant environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for us. The areas included in the assessment were determined through a process that comprised research on material matters within the industry, sustainability rankings, societal developments, as well as issues raised by stakeholders throughout the year. The outcomes of this assessment help develop our strategic plan when compiling this report. The information referenced in this report corresponds to the period between January-December 2021 and was prepared using the reporting framework of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board - SASB.
> Material Matters
> Internal Business Priorities
> Peer Analysis
> Global Sustainability Scenario
> Surveys and dialogs with
our stakeholders, employees
> Key material matters
> Prioritization Matrix
> ESG Action Plan and follow
> Sustainability Report
Our Sustainability Strategy is built based on the continuous dialogue we have with our key stakeholders who either influence Despegar or are affected by our decisions. These conversations have helped us develop an action plan which seeks to respond to the expectations and inputs of the following stakeholders.
As a company committed to sustainability, in 2021 Despegar became a signatory of the Global Compact's Sustainable Development Goals to align our operations and strategies with the United Nations´ Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were launched in 2015 by the United Nations with the purpose of building a set of objectives to overcome the environmental, political and economic challenges our world faces and of influencing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development of organizations globally. Since the launch of the SDGs in 2015, both in the private and public spheres, plans have been developed and executed to comply with these universal objectives.
The following list corresponds to Despegar's material matters, validated with our stakeholders on which we based our Sustainability Report
Our Material Matters