According to unaudited figures taken at the end of Thursday 23 April, more visitors including press, flooded through the door on the first two days to meet with the many exhibitors that are at the event to take advantage of the great business opportunities available.
Speed Networking, one of the many networking events at the exhibition brought together almost 100 Brazilian and international buyers who met with 350 local and international exhibitors over five-minute meetings.
Fernando Piris, an exhibitor from Martin Travel, Paraguay expressed his appreciation for the networking event, commenting: “I visited 21 potential buyers which has given me a great chance of generating new business”.
Jason Chan, manager of a leading tour operator, Chan Brothers, from Singapore stated: “From now on we’ll be able to offer our customers more destination options in Latin America”. According to Mr. Chan, travellers from Asia are looking to visit more than one country on the continent on the same trip, which is why it is important to have a variety of destinations and be here at WTM Latin America to meet them.
The ability to generate this extent of business at WTM Latin America, filled first-time exhibitors, like Botswana Tourism, with a lot of enthusiasm, Dawson Kgosi Ramsden, from Botswana Tourism explained: “This is our first time here at WTM Latin America and by attending Speed Networking we’ve identified that Latin America is an up and coming market, that we would like to take advantage of”.
Also taking place today was the presentation of the “Braztoa Year Book 2015”, which contained previously unpublished information and statistics about the Brazilian travel market. The publication revealed that the tour operators that are associated with the BRAZTOA represent 90% of the travel packages sold in Brazil, and have increased their business volume by 6.65% in 2014 compared to 2013 and received sales of R$ 11.87 billion.
A large travel tech programme was also taking place at WTM Latin America, with the likes of Google and Tripadvisor headlining the sessions and attracting huge amounts of visitors to their presentations.
Google revealed that there are 120 million people using the internet in Brazil and Tripadvisor added that organisations that are rated on Tripadvisor have the potential of increasing their prices by as much as 11.2% due to customer awareness. Those organisations that respond to comments or criticisms have a 21% greater chance of receiving new reservations, and goes on to prove the power of online review websites.
Lawrence Reinisch, Exhibition Director of WTM Latin America, commented: “After day one with an extraordinary increase in visitors and positive feedback from exhibitors, buyers and visitors alike, we’re extremely happy to see that people have supported the second day of the event with the same degree of enthusiasm and energy to make contact with people and do some great business deals.
“We are even more excited for the third and last day when we have the Business Travel Forum taking place and a series of activities related to this important sector”.