Up to 400 buyers and 150 exhibitors are expected at this year’s Latin American Travel Association (Lata) trade event at Chelsea Football Club’s stadium, Stamford Bridge, from 10-12 June.
The three-day gathering includes hosted buyers for the first time, new exhibitors and a revamped seminar programme. More than 50 hosted buyers from 18 European countries are expected to attend. Lata chairman Colin Stewart (pictured) said attendance overall was up by about 10%. “We’re expecting 300 to 400 buyers,” he said. “We’re very excited.”
The event will suspend other activities while educational seminars take place every day from 1-2pm. They will be divided into three themes: Going beneath the surface of wellness/wellbeing; Choice, Challenge and Change in Adventure Travel; and Transformation at the Intersection of Luxury and Sustainability.
“We’ve taken onboard feedback and are stopping everything else so it will allow everyone to attend,” said Stewart.
ELA moves to Chelsea FC after five years at Canary Wharf. “Part of the reason is to try and grow the event and to attract European buyers,” said Stewart, who added the show would have “a whole new look and feel”.
Among the new exhibitors is the Guyana Tourism Authority. Key events include the Lata Achievement Awards on Monday (10 June), a barbecue on Tuesday and the ELA Fiesta on Wednesday.
Stewart said he hoped to attract more agents to the event and raise awareness of the region. He admitted there was a challenge to highlight the destination to both agents and consumers: “Latin America can be seen as a little bit distant or unknown, but it is the most amazing region in the world and it’s now easier to get to.”
He added the launch of Norwegian’s flights to Rio de Janeiro from Gatwick in March, following the airline’s Buenos Aires connection, had been “huge” for the destination.