The opening ceremony of WTM Latin America’s 2022 edition was innovative in terms of its format and brought a different pace to the start of the event. From the Networking Area stage, Simon Mayle opted for a concise speech of celebration and appreciation. With the presence of Advisory Board members, along with both domestic as well as international tourism authorities, hoteliers and entrepreneurs from different branches of the tourism industry, the event’s director commemorated the return to the face-to-face format. “It is this coming together of cultures from all over the world that makes this event so special. The magic of human connection is back,” he declared.
Mayle highlighted the “huge and catalytic changes” that the tourism industry and its professionals have undergone during this period and reinforced the event’s role within the post-pandemic scenario. “We have focused our programming on Diversity & Inclusion, Responsible Tourism and Technology, three cornerstones that are directly linked to these transformations that have taken place since 2020 and which have gained even greater importance”, he argued.
The executive paid tribute to the Advisory Board, a group that played an essential role in the creation of a grid of qualified and inspirational content that meets the proposed objective: to provide data, share solutions and outline trends that could have a positive impact on the sector, with benefits that extend to the whole of society. “It was the board’s members who steered us to bring the right people together for this purpose,” concluded Simon.
The travel industry’s main event in the region, WTM Latin America also fulfils its primary goal, namely that of generating business for the trade. In the hours leading up to the first day of the event, the scheduling platform had already registered 6,000 pre-scheduled meetings between visitors and exhibitors at 550 stands from 40 countries.
Turning inconveniences into advantages
The Brazilian sailor and writer, Tamara Klink, took the stage to narrate part of her nautical crossing, an ocean voyage between Norway and Brazil. She drew a number of analogies between her adventure, tourist activity and human beings’ capacity to reinvent themselves and make plans come true. “Even if the conditions are not ideal, at some point you have to set off in order to complete a crossing. You have to do a lot with little,” she told the audience.
“Tourism was one of the activities that was hardest hit by the pandemic and people knew how to deal with the scenario in different ways. Some in huge ships with damaged hulls, others in small boats and many swimming, but all of them facing the same storm. This proves that we are capable of dealing with greater adversity than we could ever imagine and it teaches us to be better, to challenge ourselves every single day. Today we are better prepared for the storms that are to come”, she argued.
In the same way that entrepreneurs and society as a whole learned during the pandemic, Tamara also developed self-confidence and new skills, fuelled by the support of her family and her own desire. “It is desire that carries us away and brings us back. People move around by desire and when we take risks during this process it forces us to deal with the unexpected and come up with new solutions. A teacher I had argues that every architect’s mission is to turn inconveniences into advantages, but I believe that this is everyone’s goal: to translate obstacles into opportunities, reconciling dreams and responsibilities”, she concluded.
The traditional cutting of the ribbon officially kicked off the event, with the presence of Debora Gonçalves (the Ministry of Tourism’s National Secretary for Attracting Investment, Partnerships and Concessions), Vinícius Lummertz (the State of São Paulo’s Secretary of Travel and Tourism), Claudio Della Nina (Leader at RX Latin America), Aline Cardoso (the City of São Paulo’s Secretary of Economic Development, Labour and Tourism), Vasyl Zhygalo (WTM’s Portfolio Director) and Adriana Cavalcanti (WTM Advisory Board).
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