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WTM Latin America 2017: New attractions and positive economic expectations give the event a boost

WTM Latin America 2017: New attractions and positive economic expectations give the event a boost

Good news marks the last day of activities of WTM Latin America & the 47th Braztoa Business Event. During the WTM Latin America’s official press conference, Charlie Cracknell, Senior Exhibitions Director at Reed Exhibitions, Lawrence Reinisch, WTM Latin America’s Exhibitions Director and Luciane Leite, WTM Latin America’s Exhibitions Manager, predicted figures that reinforce the organisers’ positive impressions for the event’s performance. Up until Wednesday (April 5th), the number of visitors was up 20% by comparison with the 2015 edition and the expectations are that other business numbers will also have a positive balance.

The presentation was opened by Charlie Cracknell, Reed Exhibitions’ Senior Exhibitions Director. The executive was pleased with the positive feedback that the show has been receiving from exhibitors since the event got underway.

“It is our feeling that the Brazilian market is heating up again and there is a positive impression in relation to new business”, reported the director. “Our main goal is not just to bring other destinations to Latin America, but also to promote valuable products from here to the rest of the world.”

Among the indicators presented by the executives are the Speed Networking meetings. The number of meetings held during the three-day event should add up to a total of 12,000. In addition, a 7% increase was observed in the number of buyers participating in the first two days of the 2017 edition, which proves the mood of economic optimism mentioned by the organisation.

“One of the new features of WTM Latin America this year was My Event, an online platform for networking and scheduling meetings, along with other functions, in order to optimise the time in the pavilion and make the visit more focused on business”, says Reinisch.

Lawrence recalled that since 2013 the WTM Latin America team has been holding workshops and road shows in various countries throughout the region, such as Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia as well as in Central American countries (Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala), in an effort to increasingly boost the synergy between destinations and strengthen the market strategy both inside Latin America as well as outside.

The director ended his talk reiterating that we are in a constant transformation world, with new tastes, customs and cultural references. “Nowadays the length of time for adaptation is much less than it was 10 years ago, so the challenges not only entail making adjustments, but also anticipating trends.”

Clients’ preferences wasn’t just the subject of Lawrence’s talk, but also the topic for the panel of ESPM research professor and Co-President of Rapp Brasil, Ricardo Pomeranz. The specialist presented the “National Consumer Satisfaction Index”, also known as INSC Viagens. The study indicates that consumers’ evaluation of hotels, airlines, travel agencies, loyalty programs, car rental companies and OTAs (online travel agencies) registered a figure of 67.8% during the holiday period, denoting a 9.4 p.p. drop vis-à-vis the survey carried out last year.

Numbers and Highlights

This edition the event included services and tourism products from 50 countries, spread out among more than 600 exhibitors occupying a net area 20% larger than last year. Among the destinations present, 30% of the exhibitors are from Brazil, 30% from the rest of Latin America and 40% from the rest of the world.

Among the event’s highlight moments, the opening ceremony was attended by more than 500 people among authorities, organizers, regional and state secretaries, tourism leaders and businessmen from the industry. In addition, the event was also attended by the Minister of Tourism of Brazil, Marx Beltrão, who highlighted the sector’s importance to generate jobs and strength the economy.

The “Ministerial Round Table on Tourism as a Tool for Development”, also attended by Beltrão, along with Lilian Kechichián, Uruguay’s Minister of Tourism and Alejandro Lastra, Argentina’s Secretary of Tourism had more than 100 attendees who accompanied the conversation between the three countries’ leaderships covering issues such as visa facilitation policies, the strengthening of air infrastructure, with more connectivity, and promotion of the destination.

In its fifth year, WTM Latin America attracts 9,000 of the top executives from Latin America’s travel industry. In 2016 the event generated more than US$ 370 million in business.

eTN is a media partner for WTM.

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