The Barbados delegation led by Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, arrived in São Paulo for the 2022 WTM Latin America (WTM LATAM) held in Brasil from April 5-7. The focus was on the rich heritage of Barbados today as #TeamTourism headed to WTM LATAM for the first official day of meetings. The team met with representatives from Travel2LATAM, New Age Tour Operators, and more to promote the uniqueness of Barbados and opportunities for partnerships with the return of direct airlift to the market on June 15.
The team hit the ground running as soon as they arrived on Monday with a press conference that included Forbes Brazil, CNN Brazil, Glamour Brazil, and more, talking about the importance of the Latin America market to Barbados as it continues to expand and diversify interests.
Against the backdrop of the return of the Copa Airlines direct flight between Barbados and Panama starting June 15, 2022, the fruitful discussions in the press conference touched on key messages for the destination.
Said Sen. the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport: “The importance of diversifying our source markets and how we measure the success of tourism is moving beyond the traditional ‘arrival numbers’ model and exploring other avenues of tourism business. Our interest is in exploring investment opportunities for the Barbados product while we are here in Latin America. We have an appetite for collaboration between Rio Carnival organizers and Barbados Crop Over Festival organizers, along with the promotion of Barbados’ sports, culinary and beach culture activities in Latin America, as well as Barbados’ luxury product to affluent Latin American markets.”
The “Rum Shop” themed booth was ready to go for the launch of the event, with the team looking forward to two productive days of connections, partnerships, and promoting Barbados in this market once more.
Day 1 of WTM LATAM was punctuated by discussions around the facilities required to effectively connect Barbados and Latin America. One of the key elements discussed at WTM LATAM was the importance of ensure that Barbados can comfortably and effectively accommodate Latin American visitors, as the country strategically promotes the destination in that market.
– The significance of the rum shop and chattel houses in Barbadian culture.
– Barbados as the “home of rum” – Barbados has been producing and bottling rum for export since 1703.
– Barbadian heritage and linkages with Brasil – stretching back to rum and sugar harvesting and production.
– Leveraging the return of Copa Airlines’ direct airlift between Panama and Barbados for access into wider Latin America.
– Plans to work with media and influencers to promote Barbados to Latin Americans.
EXPLORING BRASILIAN LUXURY
Day 2 of WTM LATAM was all about exploring the opportunities for promoting Barbados to high-net worth individuals (HNIs). Under Minister Cummins’ mandate of ‘doing more with less’, we are no longer solely focusing on the volume of visitors to Barbados, but now also more strategically the quality of visitors.
Discussions today confirmed that São Paulo is perfectly positioned with a large population of HNIs who often charter private jets to locations around the world including the Caribbean. With 3 fully functional jet centers in Barbados, we will be positioning ourselves as a viable option for such travellers.
In the coming months, BTMI will be collating these luxury product offerings from luxury yachting and charter service facilities to accommodations and onisland experiences, for promotion in cities across Latin America.
WTM LATAM connected #TeamTourism to both new and familiar faces of business partners who stopped by booth H27 to say “hello” and discover what’s new in Barbados now that direct airlift to Latin America has returned. From tour operators to trade media, WTM was abuzz with the presence of the Barbados delegation in Brasil.
TOURISM AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS WORKING TOGETHER
On Wednesday, Barbados Ambassador to Brasil, Tonika Sealy-Thompson, joined the Barbados delegation at the Rum Shop to lend the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to our efforts to promote Barbados effectively in Latin America.
Ambassador Sealy-Thompson is based in Brasilia and asserted the importance of Barbados being represented in Brasil, citing the strong historical connections between the two nations.
WTM LATAM is the B2B travel and tourism event for Latin America, offering excellent business opportunities, return on investment, and access to relevant and qualified travel and tourism industry buyers, influencers, and professionals. The event was back after a 2-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
The Barbados delegation representing the country in Brasil included:
– Sen. the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport
– Donna Cadogan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport
– Shelly Williams, Chair of the Board of the BTMI and BTPA
– Jens Thraenhart, CEO of the BTMI
– Corey Garrett, Director for the Caribbean and Latin America
– Jennifer Brathwaite, Senior Business Development Officer for the Caribbean and Latin America
– Aprille Thomas, Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager