The fourth edition of WTM Latin America, which will take place from 29 – 31 March at the same time as the 45th Braztoa Business Event in Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, will be attended by 80 professionals taking part in its traditional Hosted Buyers Programme, an initiative that offers those selected a custom-made programme that focuses of generating business opportunities during the three days of the event. As representatives of the leisure tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Congresses and Exhibitions) segments, the Hosted Buyers were carefully selected, based on criteria such as purchasing authority and the volume of transactions in various categories.
Managers, directors and CEOs of travel agencies and operators, DMCs (Destination Management Companies) and MICE agencies from all continents will have the opportunity to take advantage of the great business potential that WTM Latin America has to offer. Last year the exhibition was responsible for business transactions worth US$ 363 million with agreements that were signed during the three days of the event or in the months following it.
Important companies will take part in this edition’s programme, like LATAM Airlines (Chile), Viagens Catai (Portugal), Cox & Kings (India), Top Dest (Argentina), Viajes El Corte Inglés (Spain), Jetmar Viajes (Uruguay) and Rovia (United States), among others.
“Rovia came to WTM Latin America last year with two of its product development executives. This year we’ll be taking part as Hosted Buyers, which confirms our intention to become more and more involved with this type of event, where we can transact international business and relate directly with the salespeople, tour operators, and hotel chains”, says Roberto Garcia, Senior Product Development Specialist for Rovia, a North American travel site. “WTM Latin America is the best way of measuring the proficiency and capacity that exists at the highest levels in the tourism industry”, adds the executive.
“We’re delighted to be taking part in WTM Latin America. Last year we came to the event for the first time, at the invitation of EMBRATUR, and I was really surprised by the number of operators and destinations that take part. WTM Latin America is well organized and, above all, there are many stands that enable us to do various types of business”, says Cyntia Correa, Product and Operations Department Head for Jetmar Viajes, a Uruguayan travel agency.
“Being approved as a Hosted Buyer presents us with a challenge, because it’ll be the first time that we’ll be taking part in this important international show. In the urban hotels department of Viajes El Corte Inglés from Spain I’m the one responsible for booking hotels in Latin American countries. We have contracts with lots of hotels for our corporate clients, especially in the main cities, which is why, first and foremost, I’m very interested in personally getting to know the hotel managers with whom I already work (I already know some of them) and strengthening our relationship. I also want to get in touch with potential suppliers: urban hotels that have a series of characteristics that fit the profile of our clients”, adds María Solana Montiel, from Viajes El Corte Inglés, Spain.
So the Hosted Buyers can optimize their time and do business more effectively, they have the right to a series of benefits, like exclusive opportunities for formal and informal networking, transport and accommodation, and pre-scheduled meetings with the exhibitors they chose; last edition hosted buyers, representing 26 countries, took part in more than 3,000 pre-booked meetings, with almost 800 exhibitors. They also had a marked presence during the Speed Networking session, when they met 400 exhibitors.
“We’re extremely selective when it comes to choosing our Hosted Buyers; we always focus on increasing the business generated during the exhibition. Among the participants on the Hosted Buyers Programme last year 77% had the final say in purchases and all of them held managerial positions at least. I’m certain that this was one of the reasons that contributed to the significant increase in the volume of deals done, which we’re planning on repeating this edition”, says Lawrence Reinisch, Director of WTM Latin America.