Responsible tourism and social actions are given a greater emphasis in the 5th edition of WTM Latin America

Responsible tourism and social actions are given a greater emphasis in the 5th edition of WTM Latin America

Participants will be able to learn a little bit more about the Viagem do Bem, Just a Drop and UNICEF projects, in addition to attending conferences that deal with the topic of Responsible Tourism 

With a focus on networking and business generation, WTM Latin America promotes its 5th edition in 2017, bringing the world to Latin America and promoting Latin America to the world. This year’s edition hopes to attract 9,000 executives from the travel industry and will be held between April 4th and April 6th at the Expo Center Norte Exhibition Centre in the city of São Paulo. 

This year, the event supports three major social projects. The edition also emphasizes responsible tourism which will be the theme of a number of presentations to be given by important professionals from the tourism sector at the Conference Theatre, with a schedule of lectures regarding the travel market and its interfaces.

For the first time at WTM Latin America, the Gaia+ (a public interest non-governmental organization) project Viagem do Bem aims to transform the reality of young people who are in situations of social vulnerability, by means of tourism. The action involves a partnership with hotels that offer daily bookings to be marketed, with part of the resources being earmarked for high impact educational projects in the city.

“Our expectation is that the Viagem do Bem will be well accepted by WTM Latin America’s public and it’s very important to launch the project at both the national and international level during the event in order to strengthen the brand,” states the Gaia+ project manager, Mariana Scofano.

Another project that will be supported by the event is Just a Drop, an international charity that aims to transform the lives of the world’s poorest communities by bringing clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene education. The organization, which was founded at WTM London in 1998 by Fiona Jeffery, OBE (Order of the British Empire), who was the former president of WTM London, aims to encourage the industry sector to help communities around the world. Fiona chose this cause because water is the most basic of human needs, both for survival as well as for health, in addition to it being a way of contributing to help the world.

“It’s hard to believe that Just a Drop got underway 18 years ago with a corporate partnership. During this time, we have provided more than 1.3 million people in more than 30 countries around the world, including in Latin America, with drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education. We recently helped build a piped water system in Los Guacimos, Nicaragua, providing clean water to all the homes in the community so that they no longer had to walk miles to collect dirty water. In addition to providing a basic human right, the project set up a local water and sanitation committee among the members of the community, who have been trained to maintain and repair the system, “said Fiona Jeffery, Just a Drop’s founder and president.

In the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is taking part in the event presenting the impact that the Travel Industry can have on children in Latin America. According to Marcelo Ber, Regional Officer for Children’s Rights and Business for UNICEF Latin America, this sectoral work on children’s rights has historically been focused on child protection, trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

“This work is very useful in raising awareness and strengthening the detection systems, and based on this, UNICEF intends to help the Travel industry understand its potential wider impact on children and their families. These effects include issues such as the working conditions for parents, youth employment, child labour in the industry value chain and the impact on the local community”, explains Marcelo Ber.

Responsible Tourism 

With full respect for the environment and cultures, Responsible Tourism, a theme that is increasingly present in the travel industry, recognizes the local community’s central role and its right to be the main actor in the development of sustainable and socially responsible tourism. With a view to enhancing and promoting this discussion, the 5th edition of WTM Latin America will include lectures on this topic, at the Conference Theatre, with a schedule of lectures regarding the travel market and its interfaces.

Since the UN has declared 2017 to be the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the spotlight will be on the sector’s contribution to the sustainable development of destinations. Companies in the sector, both in the source markets and as well as in the destinations, often make a point of mentioning the contribution that the sector makes to the development of countries.

The event’s public will be able to check out presentations on tourism and sustainable development goals given by important professionals in the area, as well as learn about examples from South America with three winners of World Responsible Tourism Awards, who will show why they have assumed responsibility for using tourism in order to make the world a better place for local communities and for their natural and cultural environments.

Also on the agenda is the panel that will deal with wildlife, biodiversity and welfare, which will discuss issues of animal welfare that will be raised and the economic justification for ensuring that the experiences with animals in captivity and wildlife that the companies operate, organize or sell are in compliance with the standards that are in force. The three panels will be moderated by Gustavo Pinto, who is doing a Master’s degree in Responsible Tourism at the Metropolitan University of Manchester.

According to Lawrence Reinisch, WTM Latin America’s director, when WTM Latin America was first created, it was imagined as an event characterized by the premises of Responsible Tourism. This theme is a permanent stance of defence and protection, which includes ecological concerns, but stresses respect for the culture of local communities and their equal insertion in the labour market that is derived from tourism. Tourism revenues should benefit the region and the population, not just the middlemen.

“The whole team I assembled is deeply involved with the ideal of contributing to the creation of a fairer society, and the team works with the confidence that it is playing an important role in this process,” the executive added.

For more information on this subject watch the testimony of Reed Exhibitions’ Senior Events’ Director, Charlie Cracknell at:

  About WTM Latin America

WTM Latin America, now in its 5th year, attracts almost 9,000 unique senior executives interested in the Latin American travel industry. The 2016 event generated US$ 370 million of new business which was conducted between exhibitors and buyers. WTM Latin America is part of WTM Portfolio of events, which also includes World Travel Market London, World Travel Market Africa, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Connect Asia and International Golf Travel Market. www.wtm.com

About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel. RTE, which organizes more than 20 events around the world, includes three portfolios: World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market. RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

 About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 30 countries. In 2015, Reed brought together over seven million events participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are hold throughout Americas, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Oceania, and organized by 40 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

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WTM Latin America is the three day must-attend business-to-business (B2B) event which brings the world to Latin America and promotes Latin America to the world.

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