WTM Latin America returns to in-person

EW international reporter Oliver Thomas sat down with Simon Mayle, event director for World Travel Market Latin America, before the exhibition took place 5-7 April. Click here to read the feature in the EW April/ May 2022 magazine. 

World Travel Market (WTM) Latin America, a B2B travel and tourism exhibition, is set to take place at the Expo Center Norte, São Paulo, Brazil, 5-7 April 2022.

The show aims to present Brazil and Latin America as a major outbound source market for the global travel industry.

Simon Mayle, event director for WTM Latin America, tells EW: “Governments and tourism boards are putting tourism back at the forefront of their strategies to bring back business. We have seen over the past couple of weeks the lifting of restrictions across the globe. I think the world is saying ‘we’re receptive to receiving travellers and we’re moving back to business as usual.”

Who’s exhibiting?

Mayle highlights the three primary reasons why organisations should exhibit at WTM Latin America:

  1. Quality of spend of the Latin American traveller
  2. Joy of face-to-face business in Latin America
  3. The importance of trust and confidence in Latin American business relationships.

This year, the exhibitor base will be predominantly made up of national tourism boards, hotels, cruise liners and any other type of travel experience provider.

“This year we have a fantastic international representation, and you’ll find incredible products on the show floor,” states Mayle. “Whether it be from Brazil as a destination to Disney, Miami to Portugal and even further beyond.”

There is expected to be an equal number of Latin American exhibitors as those from across the globe. Mayle believes that this gives the show a two-pronged angle:

“Half of the exhibitors are coming from across the region, allowing visitors to discover all the countries of Latin America. The other half are exhibitors from right across the world who really want to attract the Brazilian and the Latin American traveller.

“Latins are fantastic tourists who love to enjoy life, travel to the fullest, and relish every experience in all destinations,” explains Mayle. “The show is essentially the same as the WTM London, but with a Latin spirit and energy.”

What to look forward to?

The theme for the show is the ‘Magic is back.’ Mayle hopes that the exhibition will “capture the magic of both travellers and Latin America.”

Content will focus around three primary topics: Diversity, Sustainability, and Travel technology.

As one of the most diverse countries in the world, Mayle thinks that Brazil will enable the trade fair to “celebrate why we all love to travel; to meet people of all different backgrounds.”

Mayle also emphasises the inherent connections between WTM and the issue of sustainability: “Lots of tourism destinations are developing or underdeveloped locations that rely on tourism. Of course, post-pandemic they need that tourism spend more than ever. I believe WTM plays a huge role in moving people around the world, to the places that need it the most.”

Finally, there will be a fully dedicated content theatre providing the latest insights on the ever-growing travel technology sector.