Representatives from Jamaica and Dubai explain actions to reopen safe tourism
São Paulo, August 11th 2021 – The second day of the WTM Latin America took place on this Wednesday (11), the main tourism event aimed at the B2B public in Latin America. With participants from Brazil, Latin America and several countries around the world, the event highlighted issues such as the reopening of destinations for tourists, technology, sustainability and diversity.
Destinations reopen for tourists
The first content panel of the day received Edmund Barlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, who in an interview with PBS/CBS News reporter Peter Greenberg, he pointed out that a crisis management committee was established by the country as early as January 2020, when the first cases of Covid-19 became known.
Thereafter, Jamaica continued with the development of protocols and became the first country in the region to establish a complete set of regulations. Currently, the country values the protection and safety of both residents and visitors.
“We’ve established a whole system to assess the compliance levels of tourism developments in our country and we’ve given them a certificate on Covid-19, which shows the world that these companies are safe. Therefore, it is possible to come and enjoy tourist activities”, explains Barlett.
Dubai was another destination that addressed the reopening for tourists. The city received visitors again a year ago, and has already achieved collective immunity, being the first region with more than 1 million residents to vaccinate 70% of its population.
This year Dubai will host the largest exhibition in the world, Expo 2020 Dubai. But before the reopening, the country went through a period of intense restrictions, as Cibele Moulin, international operations manager for Latin America, Spain and Portugal at Dubai Turismo, informed.
“We went through a complete lockdown for almost two months. We needed permission to leave the house, and every three days we could go to the supermarket or pharmacy. Afterwards, the reopening was done gradually. There was sanitation on public roads at night. We were one of the first destinations to receive the Safe Travels seal, from the World Tourism Organization.”
Tourism and diversity
The day also featured three panels with approaches focused on diversity.
In “How to attract the LGBTQIA+ tourist?”, guests told how companies are preparing to receive this public that ends up gaining loyalty when it is well serviced and treated.
In the “Allies for Diversity”, black guests, women and people who struggle to gain equal positions within companies, addressed the many times they encountered little different environments, with the massive presence of the “cis white men” stereotype and which attitudes have been taken so that this situation decreases, or no longer occurs in tourism and in society as a whole.
The panel “Defense – Women who have their causes share their experiences” brought together Bettina Garibaldi, senior vice president of Ketcham, as moderator, Gloria Guevara, Special Adviser and Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia and Liz Ortiguera, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association.
They are women who support causes aimed at gender equity and believe that traveling is important to break down barriers and bring understanding about different issues, which results in diversity and inclusion.
Diversity is something, according to them, that is happening in the sectors and should continue to be consolidated through education. During the panel, Liz highlighted three points that she considers important for this evolution. One is about female empowerment.
“One of the points is how women are empowering themselves in recent years. I guide and support the women who are close, but we must not only think about who we are educating, but the community as a whole. This is something we can expand on”.
Technology as an ally
The approach to technology on this day of the event featured two panels. “Master the power of digital positioning in tourism”, led by Thiago Akira, tourism marketing consultant, professor and speaker, who explained how to position yourself on social networks and the internet, analyze competitors and, mainly, know and invest in the right audience for the product or service that is marketed.
As for Carlos Cendra, CMO at Mabrian Technologies, highlighted how data can be used in favor of companies, being a tool that brings information and can be used to change mindsets, resulting in assertive decision-making.
As for sustainability, the panel, in partnership with the Global Ecotourism Network / GEN, highlighted projects in Brazil, Costa Rica and Chile, which through conscientious actions are achieving the regeneration of the country’s ecosystems, which continue to suffer from the effects of climate change.
One of the projects presented was that of Mico Leão Dourado, which, based in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, helps to save the species at risk of extinction, in addition to helping to regenerate part of the Atlantic Forest, which currently has only 10% of its original coverage.
Another panel that addressed sustainability had the participation of Cintia Carlotti, marketing manager at Costa Cruises, Loraine Ricino, marketing director of GOL Linhas Aéreas, and Antonietta Varslese, Senior Vice President of Communications and Institutional Relations and CSR at Accor South America.
Participants discussed how the companies that are part of it are investing in actions for the sustainability of the planet and for tourism to continue to occur in a conscious manner.
The Tourism Council of Guatemala (INGUAT) has been working on the creation of the Tourism Biosafety Seal, which consists of a certification granted to different tourist companies, such as: hotels, tour operators, transport, tourist guides, travel agencies, Spanish schools, marinas tourist; among others, who applied the Good Practice Guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19 and other infections.
Guatemala is at WTM Latin America Virtual to strengthen the image of the destination.
“Our purpose is to promote, market and consolidate our country through the media, buyers and tourism organizations that aim to live a unique experience. In these first days of the event, we have already managed to show a lot about the particularities of our destination such as Antigua, the emblematic archaeological site of Tikal, the city of Quetzaltenango and Lake Atitlán, in addition to the wide gastronomy that our country offers”, says Corey Garrett, Director of the Caribbean and Latin America at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
For Ana Cristina Clemente, event coordinator of the São Paulo State Department of Tourism and Travel, the tools used by WTM Latin America are uncomplicated and should result in agreements with other countries. “The event is very good. The lecture platform works very well and the idea of promoting online meetings was great. Everything is easy and intuitive and flows well. I believe that we will be able to move forward some business with representatives from different countries and promote the destinations of São Paulo worldwide.”
For Thaís Del Ben, marketing manager at WTM Latin America, the second day of the fair was diversified and enlightening.
“Today we receive important names in tourism and people who represent countries that have already opened their borders and are receiving tourists from all over the world. This is great for us to absorb information that can be useful for the opening of the next destinations and that will guide us in this moment of resuming travel”, she adds.
All panels are available on the event platform, which can be accessed at this link, and WTM Latin America will have other content to share with the public on the last day of the event (August 12th) and meetings can be scheduled until August 13th – additional day, following the success of the number of scheduled meetings.
WTM Latin America Virtual:
August 10, 11 and 12 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
From 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (BRT) or from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm (GMT)
From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (BRT) or from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm (GMT)
Registration: on this link.