First collective and collaborative meeting will take place on March 11
Adriana Cavalcanti, Carolina Stolf, Clovis Casemiro, Mariana Aldrigui, Ricardo Gomes, Rogéria Pinheiro and Wellington Melo. These are the seven names that have been invited by Simon Mayle to be part of WTM Latin America’s Diversity Committee.
Recently created, the Committee will meet up for the first time, on March 11th, with the aim of starting the work agenda, the first initiatives of which are expected to be presented at the 2022 edition of the event, which will take place between April 5th and 7th, in the white and blue pavilions of the Expo Center Norte Exhibition Centre, in São Paulo.
“In addition to generating business and networking, connection and relationship opportunities, WTM Latin America encourages a broad reflection and a rich exchange of ideas, reflecting what is in the world”, says Simon Mayle, stressing that “the Committee’s creation came out of this restlessness and our desire to act in an organized and effective way on the topic of diversity and inclusion in tourism. We travel to other cities, states and countries to increase our repertoire, to get to know other cultures. This enriches our lives and makes us better”, adds the executive.
“Discussing diversity is vital so that we are able to outline the strategies needed for the training of professionals over the next few years. As well as on account of the urgent need for a greater presence on the part of women, blacks, people with disabilities and other minorities”, says Mariana Aldrigui, professor and researcher in Tourism at the University of Sao Paulo (School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities). This specialist’s opinion is supplemented by Accor’s Regional Sales Director for Luxury Hotels, Lifestyle & Premium South America, Carolina Stolf, when asked about her reasons for joining the committee. “Diversity is a powerful tool for transformation, and at this moment the tourism sector needs to reinvent itself, to transform itself, in order to survive and return to sustainable production, because diversity generates innovation. In the end, people and organizations benefit a great deal from diverse and inclusive approaches,” is her assessment.
Among the goals that have already been established, the Diversity Committee will 1) bring together great minds to conduct an in-depth discussion of D&I in the tourism industry; 2) listen and reflect on the most up-to-date content in order to find new paths; 3) discuss and understand the market’s real behavioural needs so that we can increasingly assertive in creating strategies; 4) expand the public’s collective thinking in relation to the importance of this agenda; and 5) keep expanding our minds in search of alternatives for a fairer world to live in.
Adriana Cavalcanti, entrepreneur and Director at WTM Latin America, talks about the importance of diversity and inclusion with regard to ESG practices. “There have already been some changes in this direction in recent times, but they are still very much in the early stages. When the entire tourism value chain understands that ESG has to be practiced – that it has to leave the drawing board in order to be incorporated into the organizational culture –, the entire business ecosystem will undergo a transformation, reflecting the wishes of all the stakeholders, including society, customers and investors. And D&I is one of the cornerstones of a good ESG policy,” she says.
Broad and necessary, the question of diversity and inclusion faces countless challenges in Brazil and requires attention to issues such as racism, homophobia, fatphobia, accessibility and violence against women, to name just a few that have come into the spotlight since the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this sense, on the one hand, tourism plays an important role in transformation, particularly due to its power to affect the industry’s various players. “Historically, tourism, in general, has been important in the construction of a more diverse society. However, we need to speed up this process with affirmative actions and proposals that involve the entire productive chain of the tourism sector and its players”, says Ricardo Gomes, president of Brazil’s LBGT Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.
On the other hand, there is still a long way to go – in the rest of the world as well as in Brazil. With more than 23 years of experience in the LGBTQ+ Tourism issue, Clovis Casemiro, coordinator of Brazil, Portugal and South America Members of the International LGBTQ+ Tourism Association (IGLTA), believes that “the greatest challenge that WTM Latin America’s Diversity Committee will face is the ingrained prejudice in our society. My contribution will be to have experienced all of this and lived it on a day-to-day basis”.
Making use of the importance and power of representativeness as a motivation and incentive, in addition to contributing to having more active voices in order to generate opportunities in the market and practical impact actions are some of the motivating factors behind the decision of Rogéria Pinheiro, founder and mentor of RP Travel & Business Education, to join the Committee. “A few large and medium-sized companies are slowly creating initiatives, but they are still closed centres. We don’t know what the impact is outside their corporations. We want and we are going to generate impact”, says Rogéria. Putting the actions into practice and making them effective is also the challenge pointed out by Hotel Unique’s Managing Director, Wellington Melo. “We need to take what was defined on the drawing board and in the discussions and make it part of the day-to-day routine, with a strategy to generate a process of change”, he says.
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