The participation of several countries from Latin America reinforces the safe resumption of travel
São Paulo, August 25th 2021 – The destinations from Latin America had masive presence at WTM Latin America Virtual. The first 100% online edition of the event hosted destinations and companies from different countries and, among Latin-Americans, there were: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic.
With a focus on the effective generation of business and being a milestone for the resumption of travel, the event was instrumental for the destinations to show how prepared they are to receive tourists with all of the sanitary measures necessary to continue preventing the coronavirus spread.
“I was very pleased with all the content, the monitoring, and the attention given to the planning, organization, and realization of WTM Latin America. Everything impeccably organized and followed. The event had us missing the face-to-face gatherings, more so out of the sense of physical presence. However, it did not fall short in terms of results”, highlighted Cláudia Regina Andrade, from the Municipal Prefecture of Foz do Iguaçu.
Over the event, the Tourism Council of Guatemala (INGUAT) presented the Touristic Bio-safety Seal, which it has been working on and which consists of a certification granted to tour companies such as hotels, transports, tour guides, tour operators, and travel agencies, among others, who have applied the Good Practice Guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19 and other infections.
“The platform was a success, easy to use and accessible. The support team sorting everything out quickly and the schedules busy. Really, it has been a quality event. With the extension day, it was possible for co-exhibitors to schedule more meetings – and for us too, as exhibitors”, commented Susan Trabanino, Market Director of the Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo (Guatemala), in her feedback.
The meetings were, in fact, something that brought exhibitors closer to buyers, travel agents, the press, and other professionals. “We believe that the virtual meetings provided the necessary boost for the closing new deals and the revival of tourism in the post-pandemic recovery. We had a major bet on the part of the Latin-American countries in the event and we know they have developed actions to keep receiving tourists safely”, highlighted Bianca Pizzolito, Commercial Manager of WTM Latin America.
“I want to thank the entire team that made WTM Latin America Virtual possible. We’ve had a platform of another level,” said Fredmerys Plaza, Responsible for Communications and Marketing at Hover Tours DMC Group, Panama.
“We had 72 meetings scheduled and successfully completed 64 of them. In addition, we’ve had contacts to schedule personal meetings after the event. WTM Latin America was, in fact, very fruitful”, said Karl Andia, Marketing Manager for Latin America at Quimbaya Latin America (Chile).
In addition to the positive feedback received, there is already expectation from exhibitors for the next edition of WTM Latin America, which will take place between April 5th and 7th, 2022.
“I received very positive feedbacks from our co-exhibitors and we are looking forward to next year’s WTM. Now that we have this renewed experience, I believe that the next events will be easier”, concluded Wilson Freitas, General Marketing Coordinator of the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism.
During the event
In this year’s edition of WTM Latin America Virtual, the audience was able to follow the panel “Is Community Tourism ready to do business in Latin America?”, with the participation of Latin-Americans Felipe Zalamea, Founder of Sumak Travel, Karen Bellato Pérez, Co-founder and COO of Komú, Laura Romero, Co-founder and impact leader of Awake Travel, Angelina Martinez, Communications Manager of the Global Ecotourism Network (GEN), and Gustavo Pinto, Advisor for Responsible Tourism at WTM Latin America. During the talks, there was highlight on the participation of the young to promote community tourism, and on the shift in focus of the sector – which took place in recent years and which needs to carry on – among others.
In addition, there was the launch of the WTM Global Responsible Tourism Award. To present projects acknowledged previously, Gustavo Pinto, Advisor for Responsible Tourism at WTM Latin America, hosted Marianne Costa, founder and CEO of Vivejar, and the winner of the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2020. And he spoke with Maurício Miramontes, coordinator of alliances for La Mano del Mono, a project in Mexico, who addressed the importance of awards which recognize the efforts of the collectives in the quest for sustainability in tourism.
Registration for the WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards is open and closes on August 31st at midnight, in whichever time zone the applicant are in. These are international awards with entries from four locations – Latin America, Africa, India, and the rest of the world. Projects may be registered at this link: https://www.wtm.com/responsible-tourism/en-gb/forms/entry-registration.html
All of the panels are available at the event platform until the 26th of August, and may be accessed through this link.