WTM Latin America will be the stage for discussions on sustainability, inclusion and diversity

WTM Latin America will be the stage for discussions on sustainability, inclusion and diversity

With the presence of speakers who are protagonists of black, female, LGBTQIAPN+ and indigenous inclusion and diversity in the Latin American tourism industry, inspiring stories will be told at Explore Transformation.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” The phrase attributed to Mahatma Ghandi carries a strong message that is interpreted in a literal way by the organization of WTM Latin America. Main B2B tourism event in the region is also fertile ground for gathering the right people and sharing initiatives with the potential to transform destinations into better places and to give new meaning to business through responsible conduct.

Besides the awarding of the Responsible Tourism Prize to outstanding professionals and companies, WTM Latin America has always reserved a democratic space to discuss these themes, acting in a vanguardist way in the promotion of discussions for the achievement of a better tourism.  In the edition that celebrates 10 years of the event, visitors interested in getting to know these actions and learn from their protagonists have a reserved space in the Explore Transformation Theatre.

With a robust program, the theater will bring current discussions, lectures and cases centered on themes such as diversity, inclusion and sustainability, focusing on data and sharing successful experiences that can be replicated in different places. The space is curated by Gustavo Pinto, WTM Latin America’s advisor for Responsible Tourism, Master in Responsible Tourism from Manchester Metropolitan University and member of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism.

He highlights the Explore Transformation programming as a valuable tool to raise awareness among WTM Latin America visitors by example. Diverse programming aims to reach as many people as possible to address pressing issues in planning and operation centered on more responsible conduct within tourism. 

Participation of the public authorities

Representatives of the public authorities were invited to share their ideas in the panel that marks the theater’s debut. The session “A new future: the challenges of new governments for sustainability in tourism” will bring together professionals who work in the Federal Government and at the state level to debate the policies in progress and the progress in planning tourism activities focused on sustainable development.  The idea is to understand how responsible tourism can contribute to improve the structuring of economies, social development, the protection of cultures and the environment.

Afrocentric tourism is another prominent theme in the theater’s program, directed especially to the sales chain. The lecture “Afrotourism and the travel agent: What does the travel agent need to know?” will have the participation of great names of Brazilian afrotourism to detail the subject that still lacks in understanding and to share valuable lessons in this approach that is increasingly mentioned.

In the panel “The advances of tourism in indigenous territories” speakers will address how certain nuclei of native peoples have been structuring themselves to receive travelers, in a movement that has resulted in more opportunities for local economic development and cultural protection. Panel will also bring data related to the conduct expected from representatives of the travel industry who work or intend to develop actions in partnership with indigenous communities.

“Sustainability beyond responsibility: how my company or destination can transform sustainable development into more tourists” is another panel that promises to attract attention, for its didactic and practical content. Theater will also have discussions related to waste management, the participation of content creators as supporters or antagonists in protectionist initiatives, the relationship between gastronomy and local development, and the interactions of the tourism supply chain with environmental conservation.

In addition to the themes chosen along with the event organizers, the theater will feature a record number of women, LGBTQIAPN+, black and indigenous speakers and mediators who will take the stage to share their stories. For Gustavo Pinto, giving voice to those who represent the richest and most important in Latin American tourism reinforces WTM Latin America’s responsibility and practical attitude towards these themes.

Programming – Explore Transformation Theatre

April, 3th
2pm-2:30pmA New Future: The Challenges of New Governments for Sustainable TourismWe start 2023 with new federal and state governments. Thus, we face the challenge of continuing the current policies and the opportunity to advance in planning tourism activities for sustainable development in destinations. We will talk to Federal and State Government representatives to understand how responsible tourism can go beyond a market trend, but also represent an opportunity to advance in the structuring of economies, social development, and the protection of cultures and the environment.
3:30pm – 4:00pmBest Solutions for Waste Management  Even with market trends showing the importance of developing projects and public policies to manage greenhouse gas emissions and waste, the travel and tourism sector continues to be one of the most polluting economies in the world. In this session we will learn how initiatives have been working towards waste management and how its projects can inspire travel agents and destinations to take responsibility for this urgent issue.
5pm – 5:30pmPhoto, Video and Responsible Tourism: What is the relationship between who produces and publishes an image and the destination/person photographed?TikTok, Instagram, Twitter: the effect of a publication can be unexpected – it holds true for the travel and tourism industry. For content producers, a published photo or video can have the power to collaborate with cultural and natural conservation, or it can collaborate with accelerating its destruction. In this session we will interview professionals in the field about the responsibility of producing the image of a tourist destination.
April, 4th
2pm-2:30pmGastronomy and Local Development  Tourism and gastronomy are moving ever closer: the typical cuisine and eating habits of a destination are strong decision factors in a trip. Emergence of gastronomic markets, destinations specializing in one ingredient and entire tours dedicated to the theme… the stage is set for food to become an opportunity for local economic development and for strengthening the identity of a people. In this interview we will have professionals who unite gastronomy and tourism and what tips they give us so that food can develop the responsible tourism of a destination
2:45pm-3:15pmAfrotourism and the travel agent: what do I need to know and learn?  There is still much to advance in the proper understanding of what Afrotourism is and how our industry should be more inclusive and respectful of the topic – Afrocentric tourism is increasingly discussed and mentioned. For this session we have invited big names in Brazilian afrotourism for a direct and blunt conversation: what should the travel agent know and learn about this theme?
3:30pm – 4:00pmSustainability beyond responsibility: how my company or destination can turn sustainable development into more touristsSustainable development is a trend throughout the economy. In tourism, we are lagging behind in the theme of “sustainability”, especially if we compare it to other economic sectors of service delivery. Still seen as an “expense”, some companies and tourist destinations have already realized that responsible tourism is, in fact, an investment. Let’s talk to entrepreneurs and managers of tourism destinations to find out how and what they do to turn sustainability into more tourists and more profit.
6:10pm-7pmResponsible Tourism Award 
April, 5th
2pm-2:30pmAdvances of tourism in indigenous territories  In recent years, tourism in indigenous territories has advanced greatly in Brazil and throughout Latin America. Market trend in immersion tours in destinations has accelerated this process, as well as the greater preparation of the indigenous peoples themselves so that a traveler’s visit is an opportunity for local economic development, and protection its culture with due respect. In this session we will discuss how the travel tourism industry should conduct its work in partnership with indigenous communities
2:45pm-3:15pmTourism Supply Chain and Environmental Preservation  Tourism supply chain and environmental preservation is critical to the environment. It is essential that businesses involved in the tourism industry adopt environmentally responsible maintenance practices, such as reducing energy consumption, recycling materials, and adopting higher standards of sustainability. In addition, the supply chain needs to work together to develop innovative products and services that offer sustainable experiences to visitors. In this session guests share with the audience its results for strategies between tourism and environmental preservation.

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WTM Latin America is the three day must-attend business-to-business (B2B) event which brings the world to Latin America and promotes Latin America to the world.

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