SAO PAULO, Brazil – The fourth edition of WTM Latin America opened its doors yesterday (29 March) at Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, where the show is taking place until Thursday (31 March) at the same time as the 45th Braztoa Business Event. The event presented the trends that are going to have an impact on the sector over the next few years as well as creating lots of new business opportunities for its exhibitors and visitors.
The opening ceremony was conducted by the Director of WTM Latin America, Lawrence Reinisch, and attended by Magda Nassar, President of Braztoa; Márcio Favilla, Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization; Roberto de Lucena, Secretary of Tourism of the State of São Paulo; Márcio Nascimento, Marketing Director of the Ministry of Tourism; and Gilson Lira, acting President of EMBRATUR. Various tourism authorities were present in the ceremony, among them Jean-Philippe Pérol, from Atout France; Jeanine Pires, Chairman of the Board of WTM Latin America; Toto Riyanto, the Indonesian Ambassador; and Eduardo Sanovicz, President of the Brazilian Association of Airline Companies (Abear).
Exhibition Director, Lawrence Reinisch, highlighted the presence of public and private tourism bodies from all 27 Brazilian states, something unprecedented in the history of the event, and praised the efforts of the industry’s professionals. “It is the sector’s professionals who most promote the acceptance of other cultures. We’ve tried to build bridges between Brazil and Latin America, Latin America and the rest of the world and even Brazil with itself. Tourism is the activity that is best at building bridges.”
At the event Márcio Favilla revealed that 2015 was the 6th consecutive year of growth in international tourism, despite the economic crisis that started in 2009. Since 2010, UNWTO has recorded an annual increase of 4.4% in the number of trips. In 2015, there were 50 million new arrivals in comparison with the previous year, in a total of 1.184.000.000.
New practices, trends and strategies
New market practices were one of the highlights of the first day of WTM Latin America 2016. In the session entitled “Brazilian travellers in the world travel and tourism sector”, presented by Phocuswright, it was revealed that emerging markets are growing by more than consolidated markets, the particular highlight being online travel agencies (OTAs), which already represent 75% of all online hotel reservations.
WTM Latin America’s Trends Report in association with Euromonitor International, revealed the trends that are going to have an impact on tourism over the next few years. The interest Chinese tourists have in Latin America, the millennium generation (people between 15 and 35) driving mobile technology in the region and the rise of the autonomous national traveller (ANT), someone seeking experiences and who is always connected, were the new trends presented.
“There’s a technology gap in the region, but the good news is that this also brings with it a potential for growth”, said Alexis Frick, research manager for Euromonitor.
The first day also saw the holding of the Meet the Media and Bloggers session, during which exhibitors had the opportunity to get to know the communication outlets and blogs that are WTM Latin America’s media partners. “It’s a great idea. I’ve been to other shows in the sector, but none has a meeting that’s so well organized”, said Marco Arellano, general manager of the Peruvian travel agency, Llama Trip. “It was a very useful event, because I found all the media outlets I needed. Now I’ll be able to organize press trips to present our destination”, guaranteed Indah Mekawati, Second Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.
eTN is a media partner for WTM.