Diversity, technology, professional redeployment, and the reopening of destinations were the highlights of the last day of fresh contents at the virtual event
With one extra day, tomorrow, the 13th of August, WTM Latin America Virtual will be focused on meetings
São Paulo, August 12th, 2021 – WTM Latin America, the main tourism event focused on the B2B audience in Latin America, has just wrapped up its 8th edition of fresh contents.
The event will also feature one extra day of meetings, August 13th – with exhibitors, buyers, and travel agents from several countries to mark the recommencement of the tourism industry at global level.
Besides the meetings and businesses promoted by the event, the third day of WTM Latin America was marked by contents focused on women in tourism, employability, technology, reopening destinations, and the 2021 WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards.
WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards
The award was launched during the event and highlighted projects on responsible tourism in six categories. The purpose is to discover, acknowledge, and promote examples of good practices which contribute for the development of solutions and their replication.
The winner of each category in the regions of Latin America, Africa, India, and the rest of the world will automatically be nominated for the global awards, with a judging panel presided over by Harold Goodwin, WTM’s advisor on responsible tourism, to be held on August 31st, at WTM Virtual.
To present previously acknowledged projects, Gustavo Pinto, WTM Latin America’s Advisor on Responsible Tourism, hosted Marianne Costa, founder and CEO of Vivejar, the winner of the 2020 WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards.
Next, he spoke with Maurício Miramontes, coordinator of alliances at La Mano del Mono, a project from Mexico, who addressed the importance of awards which acknowledge the efforts of collectives in search of sustainability in tourism.
Reopening of Destinations
In the approach to destinations which have already commenced the post-pandemic recovery, Peter Greenberg, a PBS/CBS News reporter, interviewed Haris Theoharis, the Hellenic Minister of Tourism, and Rita Marques, the Portugal Secretary of State for Tourism, in two sittings of 20 minutes.
In the first of them, Theoharis highlighted that, for the success of the reopening, other countries also need to open their borders soon, lest the open territories will become “islands”. He also sees 2022 positively and believes that, with the continuation of the work being done, it will be possible to resume tourism in the country and soon reach the figures of 2019.
In the following panel, Rita Marques produced awe by saying that she does not want to return tourist activities to their 2019 state. She affirmed that, since the beginning of the pandemic, Portugal has been striving and seeking for a better 2021, not only for tourism, but for the environment and socially as well, with more balance and sustainability.
Sustainable Tourism and Professional Redeployment
Another panel that addressed sustainability was “How Brazilian destinations want to attract responsible travelers”.
Artur Andrade, of PANROTAS, was the mediator and hosted the guests Bruno Wendling, director-president of the Tourism Foundation of Mato Grosso do Sul, Paulo Angeli, Secretary of Tourism of Foz do Iguaçu, and Leonardo Seabra, head of market intelligence of Emprotur (RN), who discussed the actions and strategies being used or which will soon be put in practice to attract visitors and companies that support sustainable tourism and have social and environmental responsibility.
The lecture by Dario Paixão, director of the IMAP, was a class on employability and the competencies necessary for opportunities to keep coming and evolution to keep occurring to the professionals of tourism and travel.
The panel also addressed the shift in the labor market with more use of technology, houses which became offices, even before the pandemic, and how relationships have also changed since a few year back.
Women in Tourism
Mariana Aldrigui, professor and researcher at USP, mediated the conversation with Helena Bononi, commercial and affiliation vice president of the WTTC, and Jill Sinclair, CEO of Global Health Associates.
During the panel, they spoke of the initiatives for gender equity which they are or have been involved with in the latest years. They commented on the search for more women in positions of leadership, and explained on the Safe Travels protocols, “which are aimed at supporting the travel sector to achieve an effective recovery through the development of action plans and optimization of the efforts of the sector”, Helena explained.
The participants of the WTM Latin America were also able to follow Stephanie Boyle, global head of communications at Skyscanner, in a panel that presented the facilities launched by the company to ease the lives of travelers and produce information on the conditions that exist in the countries in the face of the pandemic.
At last, two panels on diversity were part of the agenda of the WTM Latin America. “Afrotourism: An expanding market” featured Solange Barbosa, CEO and founder of Rota da Liberdade, Carlos Humberto da Silva Filho, CEO and founder of Diáspora.Black, and Thaís Rosa Pinheiro, CEO of Conectando Territórios, who addressed the Afro universe and how they passed on to present more and more the history of the Africans who came to Brazil, and which is not widely known.
Yet, the panel “Building strategies for more women in tourism” featured four women and was dedicated to exploring the movements made in organizations in the quest for diversity.
The Exhibitor’s Word
According to Franz Müller, International Markets Executive of Chile, the event is positive for business.
“During the 4 days of the virtual event, we are generating commercial meetings to continue with the positioning of Chile abroad, as well as to evaluate actions that allow us to visualize the Chilean exportable offer. We have had many meetings during the 4 days of WTM Latin America and, at the moment, we already coordinated promotional actions with the main international stakeholders, to be developed until the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022″, comments Müller.
To Simon Mayle, director of WTM Latin America, this first 100% virtual edition is beyond expectations.
“We are still commencing the recovery from the pandemic. We know that promoting an event which gathers people from the entire world, in these conditions, would not be an easy feat, but we worked intensely to provide the participants with unique contents during these three days of the event. I believe that the outcome of the WTM Latin America this year exceeded my expectations”, he comments.
All of the panels are available on the platform of the event, which can be accessed at this link, and the meetings are still taking place until August 13th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.