The focus on business and training will be expanded with the participation of 33 countries, the offer of technical conferences and a scheduling platform that suggests important contacts
There are just six days to go until the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony that starts WTM Latin America 2022, which will take place between 5 – 7 April in the white and blue pavilions of Expo Center Norte, in São Paulo.
Previewing some of the novelties and highlights of this year’s programme, Simon Mayle, director of WTM Latin America, and Bianca Pizzolito, Sales Manager, Brazil and Latin America, presented the layout of the event this morning (30/3), which showed the location of the stands. They also provided some of the indicators that show the importance of this edition, the first to be held in person since the beginning of the pandemic.
Simon Mayle underlined the tone of optimism that is reverberating in the market as the date for the event approaches. ‘The results have been exceeding our expectations, which is an excellent sign of the recovery in the travel and tourism market,’ the executive celebrates, adding market data that corroborate this optimistic view. The numbers from GRU Airports, which manages the largest airport in the country, show overall growth in passenger movement of 47%, with domestic passengers up 20% and international passengers up 280% in February 2022 compared with the same month in 2021.
‘The global chain is attentive to this resumption and this has led us to select participants even more carefully. We have favoured players that focus on Latin American destinations in order to maintain the premises that are essential for the event and are recognized by the market, like offering the products and services of global companies, generating business and inspiring the creation of increasingly better products and services,’ he points out.
The 2022 edition is the first face-to-face edition since 2019 and has the same occupancy configuration in the white and blue pavilions at Expo Center Norte. The space will bring together 500 exhibiting companies from more than 33 countries that are divided by geographical regions of the world and by some of the sectors, such as hospitality, car hire, technology and tour operators.
Bianca Pizzolito stresses that the area dedicated to Brazilian tourism has been expanded. ‘This year we’ll have destinations that have never taken part in the event, or that have been outside our exhibition area for a long time, which consolidates this great recovery movement,’ she says. Among them are Rio Grande do Sul (RS), Minas Gerais and its capital Belo Horizonte (MG), the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Porto Seguro (BA) and Blumenau (SC), as well as India, Barbados, the Maldives, Thailand and Mexico, among others.
Among the traditional exhibitors, she highlights the participation of Chile, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, Dominican Republic, the United States, Italy, Israel, Portugal and Egypt, among others. According to Bianca, the event will have room for many activations and immersions that are being prepared by the destinations and by the organization itself. ‘Taking advantage of the face-to-face format we’ve introduced the concept of gastronomic areas, which highlight Brazil and Latin America’s culinary offers for investing in experiences,’ she points out.
With a focus on outbound travel, 32 of the 42 booths in the operators’ area are already occupied. Bianca stresses the participation of the main car hire companies and the hotel segment, which is also taking part in weight and representing both large global chains and independent companies. Resorts Brasil has also reserved a space and will be offering its 52 associated resorts. ‘This wave of optimism and hope is clear when there is direct contact with exhibitors, and this augurs well for the tourism industry,’ she argues.
Mayle confirmed the participation of 54 international buyers from 14 countries on the Hosted Buyers programme, as well as the pre-registration of more than 900 professionals who have decision-making power and go to make up the WTM Buyer’s Club. The Agent on the Road programme will be bringing 550 travel agents from all the Brazilian states to the event.
The number of pre-registered visitors and travel agents has also grown since 2019. According to the executive, the increase is 8% and 27%, respectively, considering the same time frame of one week prior to the event. The organization is celebrating the fact that more than 4,300 meetings have been pre-booked via the scheduling platform. ‘The number of meetings is going to keep on rising with these tools that consider the profile of each visitor in order to bring personalized indications from professionals who are important to the business,’ he says.
In addition to the exhibition area, another aspect that makes WTM Latin America one of the most relevant B2B tourism meetings is the technical programme. The programme includes more than 55 activities, including inspiring conferences/talks, panels with industry specialists, business rounds and destination training courses. With its focus on three pillars – Diversity & Inclusion, Responsible Tourism and Technology -, the event will be innovative right from the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony will be led by Mayle and the WTM Latin America team, with a special presentation by Tamara Klink, who will address the opportunities and challenges of traveling around the world alone.
Specialists from renowned companies in tourism and other industries will take to the theatre stages to highlight good practices, share strategies and encourage the shaping of products and solutions that are truly disruptive. ‘We’ll be highlighting inspirational content, and provoking professionals so their work not only develops new businesses, but also has an impact on the world in a positive way’, he summarizes.
Among the highlights are the presentations by Metaverso/Facebook executives who will deal with the impacts of the tool on tourism, the Mercado Pago talk/conference that will focus on business digitization, the launch of the ‘WTM Latin America Manifesto for Diversity and Inclusion’, and the Euromonitor panel on effective sustainable actions in the fight against climate change. The programme will also include the presentation of the Responsible Tourism Award to companies that have developed sustainable solutions in the post-pandemic period. The second edition of the award has 14 finalists in six categories; the winners will be presented on April 6th, starting at 18:00. ‘We travel to meet people. Tourism only exists because we want to understand different cultures and we need that human connection. Our market is made up of people,’ concludes Mayle.
Registration for WTM Latin America 2022 is already open, and entry will be by prior registration only and presentation of proof of full vaccination. All health protocols have been adopted and are available on the site.
About World Travel Market
The World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises the main travel events, online portals and virtual platforms of four continents, and generates more than US$ 7.5 billion in business for the industry.
About WTM Latin America
WTM Latin America takes place annually in São Paulo and attracts around 19,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The fair offers qualified content, as well as networking and business opportunities. In its ninth edition – the first fully virtual event was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America has continued to focus on effective business generation and has reached the mark of 4,200 meetings held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors.
For further information – WTM Latin America
Marcia Leite (11) 9-4334 3017
Fran Xavier (41) 9-9188 9576