Latin America – Booming (11.09.16)
In today’s increasingly complex global travel market Latin America is perfectly positioned to continue maximising on its considerable charms. Offering a growing number of exciting destinations, it has rightly become more and more popular over the past decade as the world burns elsewhere.
So much so that having travelled, observed and arranged holidays to the region over four decades, I believe there is finally a real feeling of arrival. Ground handlers, accommodation suppliers, airlines and the millions of people working in this vibrant industry are thankfully now benefiting from tourists’ attention worldwide. Growth rates are positive as the lock comes off such an amazing supply of authentic adventure and activity experiences.
Positive growth indeed, as Latin American tourism industries (presently ranked fourth in the world behind North America, Europe and North East Asia) annually contribute over US$387 billion. By 2024 the figure is expected to rise to US$600 billion.
In the relatively micro-world of Nomadic Thoughts, we too have noticed a considerable shift in recent holiday booking patterns. Travellers are moving away from northern Africa, eastern Mediterranean and Middle East destinations, in favour of other locations carrying less political, economic and security stigma.
I experienced first-hand an example of Latin America’s present day optimism this week, as I moderated the Latin America Travel Association (LATA) debate on Brexit’s impact on tourism to Latin America. Over the course of the debate, it became abundantly clear that the region is not only very much open for business, but also perfectly placed to do well in an otherwise challenging sea-change in the UK market.
Even though we discussed currency, employment and consumer confidence issues, the energy, enthusiasm and willingness of LATA members to embrace client concerns, while expanding on their travel opportunities post-Brexit, was infectious. There is no reason to believe the UK’s Latin American tourism industry cannot maximise on this potential new dawn.
Fellow travel companies, tourist boards, airlines and travel industry partners also appeared unanimous in their belief that Latin America is well positioned for the future.
They have it all – ancient cultures, historical monuments, the highest mountains, deepest valleys, driest deserts, highest lakes, wildest jungles, longest beaches, biggest rivers, great cuisine, prolific flora and fauna, multi-colourful cultures and inexhaustible supply of grand standing landscapes. In addition to all this, the Latin American people party, dance and love their music like there is no tomorrow.
Enhanced by the world’s attention on the region further to this year’s Rio Olympics and Para-Olympics, a string of new direct airline routes and an increased reputation for safety, this is truly an excellent time to enjoy all things Latino.