• The event exceeded the target, with 4,200 meetings held
  • The organizers added an extra day (to make a four-day event) to give tourism professionals the opportunity to hold more meetings
  • The meetings were given 4.6 stars (out of 5)
  • More than 800 exhibitors represented 360 companies from 19 countries

São Paulo, August 2021 – The first fully virtual edition of WTM Latin America, which took place between 10 and 13 August 2021, surpassed the expectations of those who created it.

The event, for which the expectation was that there would be 2,500 meetings between exhibitors, buyers, travel agents, the press and other participants, reached a mark of 4,200 meetings. The event also had to be extended by an extra day – Friday, 13 August – due to the high demand for appointments.

More than 4,400 professionals registered as visitors for this year’s event – 58% of whom were from Brazil and 42% from abroad – with 1,301 travel agents, 365 buyers, including members of the Buyers’ Club and Hosted Buyers, and 800 exhibitors representing 360 companies from 19 countries. More than 200 professionals from the Brazilian and international press and digital influencers also registered to take part.

With its focus on generating effective business, the platform offered a concierge service for monitoring the effectiveness of the meetings, which resulted in more than 4,100 meeting evaluations, with an average of 4.6 stars (out of 5).

“The concierge service was one of the points we dedicated our efforts to, and we wanted to offer it to all participants to ensure that this year’s event was a success. We’re happy that we were able to use the technology to our advantage and give this boost to the return of travel”, says Thais Del Ben, Marketing Manager at WTM Latin America.

Poland was one of the countries that held virtual meetings on the WTM Latin America platform, and it believes good results will result from them. “My sharers are very satisfied. They’ve had several meetings and are looking forward to getting new business”, says Dorota Zadrozna, a Project Manager from Poland.

According to Corey Garrett, Director for the Caribbean and Latin America at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, “People are looking to visit the Caribbean to concentrate on their well-being and on nature travel after COVID-19, and WTM Latin America has generated an opportunity for us to create packages that include hotel charges and attractions.”

“We introduced new initiatives for those taking part in WTM Latin America, such as the Barbados Welcome Seal, one of the decisions that the country made to encourage tourism, our Sweet Summer Savings businesses, and the BIMSafe app, which facilitates the entry process and Covid-19 monitoring on the island. We had an excellent event”, adds Garrett.

Those who took part in the virtual event were also able to watch 30 panels featuring some 69 speakers. These included Egypt’s Deputy Minister for Tourism, Ghada ShalabyEdmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister of Jamaica, Haris Theoharis, Tourism Minister of Greece, the Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal, Rita Marques, Helena Bononi, Commercial Vice President of the WTTC, and Cibele Moulin from Dubai. The event was opened by Pedro Andrade, the well-known Brazilian travel journalist.

One of the Brazilian states that was strongly represented at the event was Mato Grosso do Sul, which stood out and considered its presence to be beneficial.

“Mato Grosso do Sul had great meetings, made important contacts with people, and was very visible during WTM Latin America Virtual. And it couldn’t have been any different, because the event was a success and one of the most important in the sector in Latin America”, says Karla Cavalcanti, Promotions & Market Director at the Tourism Foundation of Mato Grosso do Sul (FundturMS).

Simon Mayle, director of WTM Latin America said:

“The first WTM Latin America Virtual was a fantastic event, not only in Latin America, but worldwide. The event led to a boost for the tourism industry, and customer satisfaction and the numbers prove this.”

Mayle adds: “This was my first WTM Latin America and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together. Congratulations to the WTM Latin America team for promoting an event with valuable content and for giving the tourism industry the opportunity to reconnect in search of a prosperous future. I’m looking forward to WTM Latin America 2022, which will be a face-to-face event that will take place 5 – 7 April.”

All videos of the talks and the content are available on demand on the WTM Latin America platform until 26 August. To access them, simply register via the link and take the opportunity to check out everything that happened on the panels of WTM Latin America Virtual 2021.