Promoting our BHA Members at ELA in London
Experience Latin America ( ELA) was held in London, UK at the Chelsea FC, Stamford Bridge on June 10, 11 and 12, 2019. BHA European Representative Sander Langeveld and BHA Treasurer, Rudy Gonzalez represented our membership during these three intense days of business meetings, networking opportunities, engaging seminars and unique evening events. They met with several agents, wholesalers, Media representatives and service providers that showed much interest in promoting and selling Belize to their clients.
ELA by LATA ( Latin American Travel Association) is a renowned Travel Trade event held in the UK. ELA aims not only, to improve product knowledge but to also promote a better understanding of top travel trends and best business practices. This year, approximately 143 Latin American Suppliers and over 250 buyers from the UK and Europe in London, including media and press, met, to establish new business partnerships through one-on-one meetings, each lasting twenty minutes.
The Business meetings were very fruitful, and we gained a better understanding of what the European traveler seeks. Travel agents that we spoke to have stated that Belize is becoming a more sought after destination and they have seen an increase in bookings for the destination. UK tour operators usually arrange trips for their clients that combine Belize and another Latin American Destination. According to the tour operators, many of them work through a DMC, but some of them do work directly with the hotels.
The Brighter Group, which is the BTB Marketing company in the UK, represented the Belize Tourism Board at this prestigious event, along with the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans and the Chairman of the Belize Tourism Board, Mr. Einer Gomez. On Monday, June 10, the Belize Tourism Board sponsored the LATA Achievement Awards. Now in their 9th edition, the LATA Achievement Awards acknowledge individuals and companies who have made exceptional contributions to the development of travel to Latin America and reward initiatives and efforts made by the tourism industry to bring the region closer to the UK
At the ELA this year it was announced that Belize has welcomed a 9% growth in tourists from the UK this year so far, as the country maintains its image of being a sustainable and eco-friendly destination. This 9% growth from the UK market comes on the back of UK tourist numbers increasing by 12% from 2017 to 2018.