Maintenance of the Women in Travel program, holding the 1st edition of the Responsible Tourism Award and the launch of the Student Program were some of the topics that were discussed.
The Tangará Palace Hotel was the location selected to receive WTM Latin America’s guests for a breakfast at which a lot of new features were announced. The event’s director Luciane Leite and WTM Latin America’s Marketing Manager Thais Del Ben talked about the programs that will be repeated in the 2020 edition and what next year’s event will have that is new.
Among other things, Luciane Leite highlighted the team’s commitment and the positive results achieved at the 2019 edition, the continuous work of making a comparison with the other events in the WTM portfolio, the best practices validated with the Advisory Board and the active role played by Latin American organizations in expanding actions, exhibitors and partnerships both inside and outside the event.
The 1st edition of the Responsible Tourism Award, the only award that covers the whole of Latin America, was highlighted during the chat. With about 15 projects submitted, this theme which is a recurring throughout WTM’s global portfolio merits attention and will be increasingly present at the Latin American event. According to Luciane, responsible tourism needs to be increasingly valued. “We are working on the basis of three pillars of support: economic, environmental and social. In this sense, we have a series of sustainability actions that have already been already confirmed, such as ecobags, catalogues with recycled paper, and inclusion programs along with partnerships with NGOs, among other actions that will confirm our commitment to the theme. We know this is a challenging path and we increasingly want to implement concrete actions to make our event a more sustainable one,” she explains.
At the 2020 edition of the event, the show’s organizers will hire refugee food trucks, encourage a reduction in the use of paper and look for alternatives so that, by the end of the event, the materials used will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
The technology in tourism and hospitality event, Travel Forward will be held again next year, and at WTM’s 8th edition, there will be two days of industry-specific conferences as well as an area for working together with start-ups. Along with the Women in Travel program, which, like at this year’s edition, will offer mentoring to women who want to set up businesses in the tourism industry.
Luciane pondered on a very common question: the future of events. And she stated that events remain an important networking tool, and that personal relationships – the face-to-face aspect, remains essential to the generating of business, proposing of partnerships, alignment of interests and generating mutual trust. I believe that even with the technologies that are available, events continue to exhibit a positive rate of growth and we can see this in people’s interest in visiting the event.
In this sense, the executive reinforced WTM Live, an initiative that promotes business and experiences beyond the event. “There are destinations that want to go beyond the stands, that want to offer an experience. With WTM Live we create tailor-made opportunities to meet this demand from the exhibitors,” she says. Costa Rica, Peru and Chile are examples of these actions, which in different ways bring to the event a Latin America that is stronger and more present.
Another program that will be continued is the Corporate Travel Area, which on the first day of the event will have content focused on travel managers, while the 2nd day will be dedicated to meeting planners with curatorship by MPI and content specific to the MICE segment.
The 3rd day of the event will have an unprecedented program for students, in partnership with the Institute of Travel & Tourism (ITT), which is responsible for the Future You program. This will be the first edition of the program at the Latin American event, while at the London event it is already a regular feature. Heading up the project is Professor Mariana Aldrigui, who is a researcher in Tourism at the University of São Paulo and who is GTTP’s (the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership) Coordinator in Brazil.
“It is also our responsibility to prepare the professionals of the future. For this reason, we will have a program that is focused on their careers, because very shortly soon these students will be in the market performing functions that may determine the future of the sector”, stresses Thais.
Other points were covered, in addition to the floor plan of the event, such as the partnership with the LGBT chamber – which will include special actions at the event – together with the results of a survey carried out with travel agents that indicated that Asia is their main destination.
“For many years I was in the position of a customer and nowadays I work on the other side. This expertise and keen eye adds a lot to the event’s design. We are hugely concerned in relation to delivering the event and satisfying our customers and we are continually working to offer improvements and innovations and to meet the market’s demands. And we can see this development year after year,” concludes Luciane.
More information: https://latinamerica.wtm.com/