Published on : Friday, June 13, 2014
Latin America is a region to watch. As more U.S. based companies extend their global reach, many are establishing offices in Latin America’s key markets, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil among them, and holding meetings and conventions throughout the region.
“Latin America is a very underappreciated market,” says Eli Gorin, an expert in the Latin American meetings industry, as well as managing director of Hospitality Growth Partners, an Aventura, FL-based hospitality consulting firm.
“No matter the type of industry that the companies or associations holding meetings in the region may be from, there is something for everyone in Latin America that will absolutely fit the goals and objectives of their programs.”
Gorin notes, “Some of the destinations really making headway in the industry include Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Brazil, and Argentina.
All [Latin American] countries are really making an effort to attract more meetings and events business, but I’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in the marketplace in those countries.”
Colombia is working to bring more meetings to the region as part of the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc established with Chile, Mexico, and Peru in 2012. Costa Rica is currently in the process of joining the alliance as well.
“We’re working together with all of these governments so that planners can talk to us and find out what it’s really like to have a meeting in our countries,” says Claudia Davila, tourism director – USA for Proexport Colombia.
“Latin America is a growing and trending destination. We are not third world; we are just different, and we offer experiences that you can’t have anywhere else.”
Those special, one-of-a-kind opportunities, combined with Latin America’s close ties to the U.S., are especially attractive for U.S.-based meeting groups, says Davila.
Adding to the convenience of the region is that there’s no jetlag traveling between the U.S. and Latin America since they share time zones, and speaking English is rarely a problem since most major Latin American cities have bilingual populations.
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