Discover, innovate and learn. The watchwords chosen as WTM Latin America 2023 slogans also guided the opening ceremony of the event this morning (3/4). The ceremony was attended by authorities, representatives of public authorities and businessmen from different parts of Latin America and was marked by speeches of optimism in relation to the current moment of the sector, numbers that reinforce the relevance of this industry and announcement of news.
From the Explore Technology stage, Daniel Zanetti highlighted the joint work to make this industry an important instrument for a better future. “Tourism motivates us as an economic and social vector. Tourism is a solution, and we are all part of that solution. The call for a better world and for better tourism are reflected in the corridors, in the theaters and in the business opportunities that the event brings”, stated the director of WTM Latin America.
With 600 exhibitors, more than six thousand scheduled meetings and 22 thousand subscribers, the current edition represents a 35% growth in visitation compared to 2022. “More than numbers, capillarity, and the opportunity to take Latin America to the world and bring the world to Latin America makes us proud and motivates. We have always been restless, and we invite you to live this restlessness with us in the next three days”, he concluded.
Marcelo Freixo, president of Embratur, cited numbers that prove the premise of tourism as a solution. “For every BRL 1 spent on promotion, BRL 20 goes into the local economy. Brazilian tourism represents 8% of GDP, a development model that generates jobs and is compatible with the 21st century. Embratur’s new team is fully qualified to participate in this broad dialogue between public authorities and private initiative and to transform what is on offer into promotion for tourism”, he said.
Ricardo Nunes, mayor of São Paulo, revealed recent data from Fecomercio that point to a 30.3% increase in the arrival of tourists to the São Paulo capital in the last 12 months, many of them driven by the return of major events in different areas. “Tourism is fundamental not only for the generation of jobs and income, but also to consolidate the image of a destination. When this image is positive, tourism ends up helping to attract business in different areas”, he stated.
Bento Nunes, executive secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, remembered that 2023 is a historical year, not only for marking 10 years of WTM Latin America, but also for the 20 years of the creation of the Ministry of Tourism. And he highlighted the role of tourism as a factor for social inclusion. “At the Ministry of Tourism, I came across a new world, full of possibilities to contribute to the development of our country, and not only economic development, which is undeniable, but also social inclusion,” he said.
To mark the occasion, the ministry brought to WTM Latin America the launch of a series of initiatives involving Tourism aimed at people with disabilities and reduced mobility, an audience which, according to the ministry, is 17 million people in the country. Among the initiatives are the presentation of the results of the research on the profile of tourism for people with disabilities and reduced mobility; the launch of an online portfolio of Brazilian attractions with accessibility; and the edition of an educational booklet on how to serve this public with quality.
The Mtur also mentioned the creation of new campaigns for the protection of children and adolescents, including the launching of a qualification course on the Brazil Code of Conduct [Código de Conduta Brasil], a material that guides companies and service providers in the tourism industry to adopt actions to prevent and confront the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Another initiative highlighted by Nunes was the debut of the “Tourism Respects Women” campaign, against the sexual exploitation of women in tourism activities. “Sexual Tourism does not exist and needs to be banished from our vocabulary,” he emphasized.
Daniela Carneiro visited WTM Latin America in the late afternoon. The Minister of Tourism visited several stands of Brazilian tourism states and municipalities, as well as those of Latin American partners. “Our wealth need to be increasingly valued and promoted, let’s strengthen and develop our tourism. Brazil is back,” she said on a visit to the Chilean booth.
Verónica Pardo, undersecretary of Tourism of Chile, celebrated Daniela’s visit and reinforced the importance of participating in WTM Latin America. “Brazil is the second international market for Chile and we know that the Chilean experience is important for Brazilians, with wine tourism and nature tourism,” she explains, highlighting that Sernatur has been holding meetings with Embratur for joint promotions and with airlines to try to recover the amount of pre-pandemic flights. “Being at WTM is essential for us to fulfill these goals,” she concluded.