The second day of the WTM Latin America was focussed on the generation of business. Up until this Thursday April 4th, the Expo Center Norte, in São Paulo, is hosting Latin America’s most important tourism event, directed at the B2B public, which is now in its 7th edition. Over 600 exhibitors from 50 countries are showcasing the latest options to a qualified public with a great potential for generating new business.
Opening the day’s conferences and discussion panels, Embratur presented consumer trends and itineraries for 2019. Aiming to inspire tourism professionals, Angela Baltazar, head of Embratur’s Division of General Coordination of Competitive and Market Intelligence in Tourism, revealed what is expected in the market in 2019. Based on data from Skift, Euromonitor, Trekksoft, UNWTO and MTur, the talk helped exhibitors and visitors to gain a better understanding of tourists’ needs and wishes.
Trends point towards itineraries that stimulate internal transformation and new experiences. “Travellers are seeking more than just contact with a place’s history and culture, they want to be immersed and feel part of it”, she explained. Another current behaviour pattern is to experience the joy of missing out, with tourism being indispensable to living moments of enjoying life offline.
The profile of solo travellers and destinations that combine business and leisure – so-called bleisure – were also revealed by the Embratur representative. “People want to experience situations that are the antithesis of those lived everyday”, she pointed out. She also gave a few examples of destinations that deal with some of these new trends, such as Area 47 in Austria, Interlaken in Switzerland, and Queenstown in New Zealand.
Embratur also took advantage of the moment to launch a new intelligence document, produced about each Brazilian state, with information on the main ports of entry for foreign tourists. The material has been made available by the institute on its site www.visitbrasil.com.
Digital influencers meet with representatives from destinations and exhibitors.
The day’s agenda continued with content aimed at the industry’s professional development. Consumers are increasingly turning to digital influencers on social media, blogs, videos and articles on experiences to decide on their trips and, accompanying the market trend, the space was a success at the WTM Latin America.
In the Networking Area, thirty travel bloggers and influencers took part in 5 minute sessions to talk with representatives, exhibitors and visitors. As well as boosting the relationship between market players, the space gave visibility to the brands and the beginning of business partnerships.
Ana Clara Cruz, from the Hotel Urbano, believes that digital influencers are great content aggregators, and sees these spaces as invaluable. “It’s great because we make contact with people who have great potential and who produce a lot of quality content”, she says. Márcio Ciamatti, whose blog is called A Janela Laranja (The Orange Window), agrees about the success of the networking tables: “I saw old partners again and met new ones, it was great”.
Where next for Certification?
The day also provided a debate at the Inspire Theatre on the importance of having a sustainability certificate. Teresa Llusá, social director of Green Tourism, Erica Lobos, manager for Mexico and Latin America at Earth Check, and Alexandre Garrido, coordinator of Sextante Consultoria, spoke of the various kinds of certifications and their current importance in the world of tourism.
Teresa introduced Green Tourism, one of the world’s first sustainability certifications, and pointed out that today there is a whole new generation of sustainable tourism certificates. She explained how Green Tourism has now entered the digital field and is seeking to attend to an ever growing number of new companies and destinations interested in adding value to their business in this way. Erica, for her part, emphasised that “sustainability is not attained alone, it is an integrated effort”. She also said that there is a responsibility to make those entering the tourism business aware of the importance of sustainability. Garrido in turn explained what a certificate is, what leads a business to seek it and the benefits accruing to its business.
In addition, the three speakers emphasised the new traveller profile: people concerned about the environment and that increasingly seek sustainable tourism programmes.
From Brazil to Ecuador
At its press conference, Ecuador spoke of the country’s new attractions. One of the features was the flight offered by airline Gol, which since December allows Brazilians to travel to Quito with greater ease. It is the only flight to the country and takes less than six hours. The city was the first to receive the designation of world heritage site. Ruben lara, Latin American coordinator at Quito Turismo, explained that the juncture of tradition, gastronomy and adventure are the great attractions for visitors to the city. Zharife Kure, tourism and quality projects coordinator at the municipal Tourism Office in Guayaquil, spoke of the beauty of the country’s coast, home to 10% of the world’s birds. According to the data presented, in 2018, 22,000 Brazilian tourists visited the country, spending an average US$ 1,300 during an average five night stay.
Uber for Business
During the afternoon, the Corporate Travel Area welcomed Phil Chaves, director of Uber for Latin America, to talk about the application’s new division: Uber for Business. During the talk, Chaves discussed the direction Uber is taking to enter the corporate market and how technology is changing the future of business travel.
Chaves explained that Uber is positioning itself in the hotel, air travel, retail and insurance sectors. He revealed the campaign launched in the last week on safety and presented its future enterprises in urban mobility: Jump and Uber Air.
HSMAI Brazil Course
The Corporate Travel Area also was the stage for a workshop with Gabriela Otto, president of HSMAI Brasil (Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International). The presentation, the object of which was to explain the concept and application of Revenue Management, spoke of management and distribution as applied to corporate travel
She also placed members of the public in groups of two or three to take part in a Game of Yield (a supply management game), the object of which is to accrue the most money in a week of organising the reservations agenda at a hotel. Gabriela’s intention, however, was to demystify Dynamic Pricing, showing through the game how to make the most out of it.
Winding up the second day, was a press conference with Luciane Leite, director of WTM Latin America, who spoke of the success of the event’s 7th edition, which is reaching its goal of taking Latin America to the world and bringing the world to Latin America. “We are very happy with the feedback received. Visitors and exhibitors are satisfied with the event’s delivery, with the opportunities for business and with the quality of the meetings held with a highly qualified public,” said the executive.