ILTM Latin America 2019 confirmed a dynamic outbound Brazilian and Latin America luxury travel market last week (14 – 17 May) when 400 global luxury tourism brands met with 400 influential buyers from across the region – including 100 new faces from both categories – at the event in São Paulo. Officially hosting 54 one-to-one meetings of 15 minutes each throughout the week – aside from many other social networking opportunities – the event proved an ideal platform to create valuable professional relationships and build business and business opportunities.
“During the week of ILTM Latin America, we created not just 16,000 business generating meetings but 16,000 conversations driven with energy and passion to fulfil new travel dreams with new, high-end products from 65 different destinations,” says Simon Mayle, ILTM Latin America’s Exhibition Director.
Harold Torres, Director of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group for Latin America, commented that participating in the event was essential “not only to present the news – such as our new properties in Canouan in the Caribbean and Lake Como in Italy – but for our team to have a better understanding and connections with the local market to ensure we fully understand and anticipate the needs of our guests from the region.”
“I have met with many more buyers from Latin America this year and have been delighted with the reputation and experience of all with whom I have met,” added Bertha Guerrero, Global Sales Director of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, continuing “This exactly meets our strategy to build closer relationships with this important market.”
Sheila Mueller, Leading Hotels of the World Communications Director for Brazil added: “ILTM Latin America was incredible, offering the opportunity to present our new products as well as a review of the firm favourites and iconic Leading Hotels of the World properties to both important buyers and influential media alike. The recurring theme of wellness and sustainability was a wonderful platform for us and so many other luxury hotel brands”
New Brazilian hotels and brands were also enthusiastic about the theme of #backtolife in Brazil. “The wellness experience we offer is exactly what ILTM has highlighted: the connection with nature reflects the essential needs of luxury travellers today. Being able to be present at ILTM Latin America was also important to open up new markets such as Chilean and Argentina,” explained Lorena Trindade of the Rituaali Clinic & Spa.
“It was our first time at ILTM Latin America and the event completely exceeded our expectations of beginning new relationships with new clients through travel agents, all of whom seemed genuinely impressed with our unique hotel,” revealed Fábia Raquel, from Fazenda Santa Vitória, in Queluz, SP.
ILTM Latin America also highlighted the increasing importance of the role of an expert and well-connected travel agent, including both tour operators as well as individual buyers, small businesses and boutique agencies – today’s high net worth traveller expects immediate answers and a very personal relationship with someone they trust. The show welcomed 400 travel agents – 25% of whom were new – attending from 14 different countries including Ecuador and Guatemala, who were represented for the first time at the event and 40 cities, 22 in Brazil and 18 from across Latin America.
“The event is fantastic and brings us the opportunity to meet new quality providers so that we have the tools to turn our customers’ dreams into reality,” said José Maria Tenzeno of the Brickell Travel agency based in Mexico City.
“ILTM Latin America was very well organized, with creative and interesting parallel events and activities, and most importantly, respectful and interesting brands and their representatives,” added Lucas Ochoa of Biblos Travel.
Vera Gattaz of L’Espace Tours commented “The theme of ‘Back to Life’ was a very positive one for our businesses. We are in a new era of getting back to our roots, our family, to sustainability – basic things that we have distanced ourselves from but now form the framework of today. Customers are quietly clamoring for this in travel, and we are delighted to add value in this very positive way.”
“ILTM Latin America has captured the Latin soul in all travelers from the region: empathy, celebration and attention to sustainability as well as detail,” says Fred Tour’s Frederico Fajardo.
RETOUR À LA VIE
The ILTM Latin America 2019 theme “Back to Life” is an ode to wellness, in the sense of encouraging people to reconnect with themselves through nature. Simon Mayle concluded, “We have noticed that Latin Americas are exploring much further afield than ever before including destinations such as the Amazon, Japan, Iceland, Greece and Patagonia. There is a demand for detox opportunities, to offer time away from technology, and invest in real experiences that help travellers connect with the environment as well as themselves.”
ILTM Latin America 2020 will take place May 5 – 8, once again at the Pavilion of the Ibirapuera Bienal, in São Paulo.