Katie McGonagle looks ahead to region’s event in London 

Flight data reveals mixed fotunes for region’s countries

Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and Peru were the most popular destinations for British travellers to Latin America in the past year, according to ForwardKeys airline booking data.

UK bookings to Latin America via global distribution systems fell by 2.7% between May 2018 and April 2019, to a total of 481,000.


Supplement: Experience Latin America


Mexico accounted for more than a fifth of British visitors, at 109,000, although this was down 7.6% on the same period the previous year. Destinations that saw growth during the period include Brazil (up 5.1%), Argentina (up 7.4%), Peru (up 3.7%) and the Dominican Republic (up 17.7%), while the Galápagos Islands, Guatemala and Guyana also saw significant percentage increases, albeit from much smaller bases.

Bookings to Nicaragua fell by 79.4% following a Foreign Office advisory against travel, which has since been lifted, while Venezuela dropped by 31.3% and Cuba by 25.3%, although Cuba still remains the third-most visited destination.

Airline booking data for the next six months, from May to October 2019, indicates growth destinations include the Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Colin Stewart, chairman of Lata (Latin American Travel Association), said: “More niche destinations including the Galápagos Islands and Guyana are also performing well, with significant increases in bookings over the next six months, illustrating a growing demand for more intrepid destinations.

“While these figures give us some useful insight into UK demand and booking habits, it’s worth mentioning that Lata encourages sustainable travel to Latin America which isn’t focused solely on statistics and growth.

“We look forward to working with our Lata members over the next year and beyond to continue to develop sustainable business to the region.”

The data is set to be presented in a session on trends in travel to Latin America at B2B show Experience Latin America (ELA), on June 10.

ELA expects record attendance at new venue at Stamford Bridge

A record number of UK and Latin American delegates are set to attend this year’s Experience Latin America (ELA), Europe’s biggest trade show dedicated to the region.

The three-day event, for which Travel Weekly is a media partner, takes place from June 10-12 and has moved to a bigger venue at London’s Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club, to accommodate the new attendees. These include 144 exhibitors – a 10% increase on last year – and 336 buyers, including UK tour operators and travel agents.

Lata chairman Colin Stewart said: “This year, we have been working closely with Jacobs Media Group [Travel Weekly’s parent company] to grow the event, work more collaboratively with the travel trade, and position ELA as Europe’s number-one B2B trade show focused on Latin America.”

New breakfast seminars and lunchtime workshop discussions have been added each day, as well as a new venue for the ELA Fiesta.


ELA programme

Monday, June 10
08.00 Registration
09.15 Breakfast briefing: Latin American booking trends
10.00 Exhibitor appointments
12.00 Lunch
12.45 Workshop: Going beneath the surface of wellness and wellbeing
14.00 Exhibitor appointments
17.30 Appointments end
18.00 Lata Achievement Awards

Tuesday, June 11
08.00 Registration
09.15 Breakfast briefing: Working   with the UK travel industry
10.00 Exhibitor appointments
12.00 Lunch
12.45 Workshop: Choice, challenge and change in adventure travel
14.00 Exhibitor appointments
17.30 Appointments end
18.00 BBQ party

Wednesday, June 12
08.00 Registration
09.15 Breakfast briefing: Lata Sustainability Charter
10.00 Exhibitor appointments
12.00 Lunch
12.45 Workshop: Transformation at the intersection of luxury and sustainability
14.00 Exhibitor appointments
17.30 Appointments end
18.00 ELA Fiesta

SupplementExperience Latin America

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