Networking opportunities, doing business and expanding knowledge are just some of the attractions that awaken the interest of exhibitors to mark their presence at next year’s event
With its position already firmly consolidated in the travel market, WTM Latin America, the main global event in the sector in Latin America, held its sixth edition in April in the city of São Paulo. The event, which attracted almost 12,000 visitors from the tourism industry from 50 countries and some 600 exhibitors, was a unique opportunity to network, firm up business deals and expand knowledge.
Among the things that were presented in the sixth edition was an innovative direct relationship model for tour operators in Brazil. The event was attended by 42 operators, 26 of them in the Tour Operators Area, a space reserved for Brazilian companies, and 16 Brazilian and international companies that occupied stands in Expo Center Norte’s Blue and White Pavilions.
The success of this year’s format motivated several participating operators to indicate their interest in WTM Latin America 2019 within a short time after the end of this year’s edition. Those that did so are: R11 Travel, Grou Turismo and Schultz.
According to Renata Maida Freire, general manager of Grou Turismo from Portugal, their participation in WTM Latin America 2018 was very positive. “We feel that Portugal as a destination is on the up and our recent presence in the region has meant that we’ve achieved a great commercial result,” she says, adding that “our good location in the pavilion undoubtedly contributed to the number of times our team was approached over the three days of the event. Being there in 2019 will further boost our business.”
Ana Santana, the CEO of Schultz, is also celebrating this edition. “We took part in WTM Latin America 2018 with our own stand in the Tour Operators Area and the result we got was very good; so much so that we’re interested in taking part in next year’s edition,” she says.
The presence of different operator profiles contributed to business being done during the event, with buyers from Brazil, Latin America and around the world being connected.
For Ricardo Amaral, CEO of R11 Travel, the exclusive distributor of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and Pullmantur Cruceros in Brazil, the company’s participation in the event was very productive. “WTM Latin America is already part of the tourism market calendar in Brazil and, as such, it brings together the main professionals and companies from all over the country. This geographical coverage generated dozens of new business opportunities for us and allowed us to start commercial relationships with agencies interested in selling sea cruises and that were looking for information on the benefits of working with R11 Travel”, says Amaral.
Confident in the Latin American market and with the expectation that the tourism industry will start to boom, in addition to operators, firms like Omnibees, a distribution and hotel marketing company, and several destinations have also already expressed an interest in returning for the 2019 edition, which has been confirmed will take place 2 – 4 April next year in São Paulo.
For Paulo Salvador, Omnibees’ Global COO, taking part in WTM Latin America 2018 represented a new milestone for the company. “Our ambitions for growth in Latin America and for transforming industry by way of Omnibees Academy training courses can only be achieved through strong regional partnerships. That’s why we believe in and are counting on this great event that every year becomes the biggest meeting point for the Latin American tourist trade”, said Salvador.
Some of the destinations interested in returning to the event in 2019 are Paraty (RJ) and Bariloche.
For Gabriel Ramos Costa, Paraty’s secretary of tourism, the destination’s participation in WTM Latin America was extremely successful. “We had the opportunity to make contact with many buyers and influencers during the Speed Networking sessions, which enabled us to discuss the main trends in the Latin American market, as well as in Europe, the United States and Canada. We hope to participate in the next edition to continue with the work we’ve built up for the short and medium term, as well as strengthening Paraty’s position as a destination”, said Costa.
Another destination that has already confirmed its participation in 2019 is Bariloche. The Argentinian city, by way of Emprotur (Bariloche Mixed Tourism Promotion Body), takes advantage of the event to launch its winter season. “During WTM Latin America we have the opportunity to meet with our partners in Brazil, announce news to the specialized press, and engage in brand activations for the public. This time is very important for encouraging Brazilian tourists to visit us”, said Diego Piquin, executive director of EMPROTUR.
For Luciane Leite, director of WTM Latin America, since its first edition in 2013 WTM Latin America has provided substantial investment and support to ensure that its customers have a platform for building their business in Latin America and around the world. “The new format has made the participation of tour operators in the event more independent, pleased exhibitors and visitors and boosted the results. The interest the exhibitors have shown in participating in the 2019 edition makes us very excited and reinforces even more the success that WTM Latin America has conquered worldwide in the tourist segment over the years.”
The seventh edition of WTM Latin America will continue to focus on generating business for the hundreds of Brazilian and international players that are part of the event’s agenda. Those interested in taking part as an exhibitor should access the link and complete the form: http://latinamerica.wtm.com/pt-br/Formularios/Solicitacao-de-Estande/