The biggest edition ever. That was WTM Latin America 2022, the region’s main B2B travel show, held at the Expo Center Norte Exhibition Centre, in the city of São Paulo (SP), Brazil, between 5th and 7th April.
The official figures prove the importance of the show for the Latin American tourism industry. The conference program and the chance to network and conduct business with relevant players in the global industry attracted 20,000 travel professionals over the three-day show.
Excluding professionals from the 565 exhibiting companies, the number of visitors came out to a total of 15,204, a 10% increase compared to the 13,823-figure registered in 2019.
“The 2022 edition established itself as one of the most important ones in the event’s history, which also reinforces the signs of a positive outlook for tourism with the prospect of resuming contacts and conducting new deals”, celebrated Simon Mayle, Director at WTM Latin America.
Another significant achievement was the high level of adherence to the scheduling platform, which registered more than 6 thousand meetings during the three days of the event, as well as the high quality of face-to-face meetings. In total, the meetings were evaluated with 4.3 stars (out of a total of 5).
“The score is given by those taking part in the meetings, and takes into account the quality and the likelihood of closing a deal”, adds Mayle.
The knowledge offered was one of the event’s other major attractions. Over the course of the three days, the show proposed the following theatres and activities:
Diversity & Inclusion, Responsible Tourism, Travel Tech and Networking Area. These highlighted relevant topics and trends in 55 parallel activities, including conferences with relevant speakers of the industry, business rounds and training sessions with travel agents and hosted buyers.
The result was observed repeatedly in each of these spaces with fully occupied seats, reinforcing the search for relevant data that could help guide business during this recovery period.
“In addition to the content, some destinations offered qualified content for travel agents and Hosted Buyers, making use of the space providing training sessions which are essential tools at this time of recovery”, says Bianca Pizzolito, Sales Manager at WTM Latin America.
“We saw a lot of demand for practical information that could help companies prepare to meet the pent-up demand. The conference about the Metaverse and the reflection on staff qualification were great successes, as discussed regarding customer acquisition and retention, increased profitability and consumption behaviour. The magic was definitely back in all of WTM Latin America’s aisles”, noted Gabriela Otto, CEO of GO Consultoria, president of HSMAI Brasil and WTM Latin America’s Travel Tech Theatre curator.
For the professor and researcher, Mariana Aldrigui, the setting up of a Diversity and Inclusion committee and a space dedicated to it indicates a boldness that is characteristic of WTM Latin America, as well as an alignment with trends.
“We are discussing topics that make people feel uncomfortable and make them think. By publishing a Manifesto and providing such a privileged space for debate, we are planting a seed with the aim of making these issues seem natural”, said the curator of the event’s Diversity & Inclusion theatre.
Gustavo Pinto, WTM Latin America’s responsible tourism advisor, also celebrated the successful debut of a theatre dedicated to this topic. “We had a full house every day, and often it was well in excess of the auditorium’s capacity and all panels had interaction with the public. We noticed that travel agents have come back from this pandemic crisis period with a marked interest in the issue of sustainable development”, concluded Pinto.
WTM Latin America 2023 has already a confirmed date and location and will take place between 4th and 6th April, at Expo Center Norte Exhibition Centre, São Paulo.