The virtual version of the Latin America Travel Association’s Expo 2020 has concluded following a five-day event held against a backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic

The show attracted 73 exhibitors, 117 networking buyers from 27 countries and included a total of 2,335 scheduled meetings.

LATA Expo is the largest dedicated B2B in Europe focused on travel to Latin America. featuring a pre-organised schedule of one-to-one business meetings between exhibitors and delegates, as well as content sessions with expert panellists.

The event discussed and debated future travel to the region given the current context and revealed a number of travel trends.

Data from ForwardKeys based on confirmed global air reservations illustrates that bookings to Latin America for the July 1–September 30 period fell 90.1% year-on-year, slightly below the average global decline for inbound bookings (94.1%).

Despite these figures, weekly tickets for future international travel to key destinations are on the rise with some regions showing stronger signs of recovery. Mexico was at around 15% of 2019 volumes in May 2020 but volumes rose to around 50% for September, outperforming all other countries in the region.

The top searched destinations from the UK between October and December are Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Argentina. The most popular flight route searches were London–Cancun, London-Sao Paulo and London–Mexico.

The data shows a gradual increase in flight capacity, following the reopening of key destinations, while fares to Latin America have dropped by between 16% and 30% from key source markets. A trend towards later bookings also emerged.

Research from Mail Metro Media Group indicated that holidaymakers are now likely to spend more on their 2021 holidays – at £2,200 per week for flights and accommodation.

But the study illustrated more caution when booking 2021 holidays. Only 18% of respondents had already booked a 2021 trip, while 47% said they would be more tempted to book closer to the departure date.

One in two respondents said they would be more tempted to book with a reputable agent or travel company that can provide the necessary safety and security guarantees.

LATA chairman Colin Stewart, UK and Ireland director for Air Europa, said: “LATA appreciates the challenges facing its members in this difficult travel climate and is grateful for all those who attended LATA Expo 2020.

“We are delighted to have received a total of 73 exhibitors and 117 networking buyers from 27 countries making this our most international show yet.

“Our ambition for LATA Expo was to open a dialogue in the supply chain, facilitating new trade which we hope will go some way into kick-starting a sustainable recovery.

“We will continue to support our members throughout these difficult times and remain optimistic that we will see further signs of a recovery in 2021.

“We look forward to seeing our LATA members and delegates in person at LATA Expo 2021 taking place in June at Battersea Evolution (London) with subsequent events in Paris and Amsterdam.”