Speed Networking Sessions demonstrate success at WTM Latin America 2018 with more than 12,000 business meetings

Speed Networking Sessions demonstrate success at WTM Latin America 2018 with more than 12,000 business meetings

With relevant topics, more than 600 exhibitors and new features, the event’s sixth edition came to an end this afternoon (5/4) in São Paulo – Brazil

Upbeat about the Latin American market, exhibitors, industry professionals, partners and travel professionals can celebrate a preview that suggests that the segment will improve this year.

During the three-day show, it is estimated that the market has achieved significant gains. One example  of this positive trend was the Speed ​​Networking sessions, which for the first time had five sessions, with a total of more than 12,000 meetings.

Those who made their way through the event’s busy and colour-filled corridors on April 3 and 5, also noticed the number of negotiations and meetings that were taking place in every part of the Blue and White pavilions.

“I think that the event was a very good one, in terms of organisation and the locations of the stands. Being here has been very interesting for Globalia Group. It was an experience that we will be repeating next year”, said José Ignacio de Oca, Globalia’s Commercial Director for Latin America. In my opinion, one of WTM Latin America’s differentials is that we managed to close a lot of deals. Usually at events we just do networking. I am confident that many of the deals that we signed here will carry on”.

“The pavilions gave a very good indication of what is happening in the travel and tourism industry. And the number of meetings that were held during the Speed ​​Networking sessions, conveys the event’s purpose, which is to do business. We brought the world together during the three-day event, and this became clear to those who were circulating through the stands. We have definitely brought the world to Latin America and promoted Latin America to the world”, said WTM Latin America’s director, Luciane Leite.

In total, there were more than 40 operators present at the event and some have already shown an interest in returning for the 2019 edition – R11, Grou, Travel Ace Intertouring, Hotel DO, TT Operadora and ITA.

According to Travel Ace Assistance’s regional sales manager for São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, Renato Dassan Verdi, “this event is a unique opportunity to get closer to customers as well as to do networking and gain new accounts. At WTM Latin America we were able to meet prospects that we had been trying to schedule meetings with for a long time but hadn’t been able to get a slot on the executive’s agenda. But during the event this initial contact is the one that helps us achieve better results”, stresses Verdi.

About content partners, Omnibees is interested in hosting the next edition. “We are very happy with our participation at the event, both as exhibitors as well as in the capacity of sponsors of the content of conferences. We believe that this is the way to transform Brazil’s tourism industry”, declared Paulo Salvador of Omnibees.

Destinations also recorded success during the three-day event. The towns of Parati (in the State of Rio de Janeiro) and Foz do Iguaçu (in the State of Parana), along with Turkey, Ecuador, Chile and Indonesia all exhibited interest in coming back next year.

“The Brazilian market has enormous potential for Ecuador. Brazilians’ purchasing power is very attractive and we believe that Ecuador offers an excellent diversity in terms of culture, gastronomy and historical cities. There are a lot of options available in the country’s northern, central and southern regions – which are very different communities.

All this represents a set of opportunities for Brazilians, not just for regular tourism, but also for conventions and congresses. We have very good hotel capacity, with major international networks”, emphasised Ecuador’s Minister for Tourism, José Luis Egas. “As far as we are concerned our participation at the event has been a great success. We want to come back and encourage the Brazilian market to visit the country”.

Business Travel

Another successful program at this edition, which received a lot of attention from both visitors as well as exhibitors, was the Business Travel (Corporate Tourism). With around eight brand activation during the event, including chats, seminars and conferences – leading entities reinforced the importance of Latin America’s main B2B travel event.

Among these organisations there was GBTA (Global Business Travel Association), ALAGEV, TMG and ABRACORP, as well as the airline Avianca, which was responsible for bringing 50 corporate travel managers to the event.

“In addition to LACTE ‘Latin American Corporate Travel & Events Experience’, the idea is to hold this sort of encounter four times a year. Taking into account that ALAGEV has multisectoral communities – basically made up of managers, players and suppliers – our goal, by means of the first ALAGEV Global Community Meeting, is to share information, deliver more, connect people and generate content”, stated ALAGEV’s president, Rodrigo Cezar, who is celebrates as a result of this partnership.

New exhibitors

While in relation to those who were making their debut appearance, this year WTM Latin America brought six hotels – the Royal Palm Plaza, Wyndham Hotels, Master Hotel, Maksoud Hotel, Hotel Alfa Moscow and the Brazilian chain Luzeiros Hoteis.

“For Alpha Moscow it was important to take part in WTM, our focus now is on Latin America, first and foremost due to the significant interest in FIFA. Secondly, we want to increase our business in the region, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, and of course to increase our profit. This event was excellent in that respect. The organisation was brilliant”, emphasised Danila Krasnov, Alfa Hotel Moscow’s Sales Director (Russia).

Speaking of destinations, three Brazilian towns that made their debut appearance in the pavilions, all exhibiting natural beauty with crystalline waters, were the beautiful island of Ilha Bela, which is located on the north coast of the State of São Paulo, Porto de Galinhas, in the State of Pernambuco, and Parati in the State of Rio de Janeiro, which offers natural beauty along with architectural attractions.

According to Brenda Silveira, executive director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Porto de Galinhas, which is the main beach in the town of Ipojuca, “being present at an event of this type is very important, as it makes it possible to meet up with operators and partners of the national and international market, generating business, as well as promoting tourism in the region”. In partnership with the local government of the town of Ipojuca (in the State of Pernambuco), the Porto de Galinhas Convention & Visitors Bureau launched an experience entitled “A Dive in Porto de Galinhas” at WTM Latin America 2018.

Located in one of the new areas, created especially for this edition, the Destination Pavilion, Living Tours celebrated significant business with strategic players in the market. “This type of event is very important for the sector. We have already taken part in WTM London and in the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. But this is the first time that we are exhibiting at WTM Latin America. I feel that it is very important to maintain the relationships we have with our current partners and to create new relationships with potential clients. From our point of view the event has been a success”, declared Vítor Bezerra, manager of Living Tours for Portugal and Spain.

According to Charlie Cracknell, Senior Director at WTM Latin America, “We connect 7 million people by means of a global portfolio of 500 events all over the world. Events are our business and we have a very solid network of contacts. We have a presence in more than 22 segments.”

Content that complemented the agenda

ALAGEV opened the day’s content agenda with the “Alagev Global Community Meeting”, which brought together about 80 professionals from the corporate tourism sector. “This meeting format allows for greater closeness between communities and, as a result, more solid conclusions, proposing effective improvements for the flow in the sector”, commented ALAGEV’s executive director, Eduardo Murad.

At the Inspire Theatre, the talk “Innovation Cases from the Mapa do Turismo Inteligente (Intelligent Tourism Map)”, which was given by the National Tourism Coordinator/SEBRAE Nacional, Heleni Riginos brought technology as one of the four pillars that SEBRAE works with in order to implement intelligent destinations. Andre Gyurkovits, Facebook’s Client Partner, presented success stories for improving content from campaigns on the platform.

One of the first conferences at the Travel Tech Theatre, which was given by Omnibees business manager Rodolfo Delphorno, dealt with ways of increasing profitability in the hotel segment, by means of five key steps. “Hotelier have to be a bit clairvoyant, they have to keep up with the trends,” remarked Delphorno.

Under the title of “Demystifying the World of Startups”, Carlos Carneiro, Startadora’s CEO, ended the final conference cycle at the Travel Tech Theatre. For this executive, tourism startups that are looking to consolidate their position and grow rapidly must keep in mind that they need a flexible model, scalable business, repeatable delivery, and innovation. “This method works with any idea and with any business,” added the CEO.

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