Source: ALTA

  • This collaboration would focus on a new joint product showcasing the region from coast to coast, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, aimed at the long-haul traveler. It would anticipate new post-pandemic trends, emphasizing sustainability, innovation and a novel approach to air connectivity

The ministerial panel held during the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Bogota on October 26, 2021 has generated a transcendent initiative. The debate focused on the role of tourism as a driver of economic recovery, as well as on the most appropriate tools to drive innovation, sustainability and adequately meet the needs of post-pandemic travelers.

Within the framework of this session, the ministers of tourism of Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador have agreed to explore a joint initiative to develop a product that shows the region from coast to coast, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, under common, differentiated and sustainable lines of specialization. This value proposal seeks to meet the needs of the long-haul traveler, with a clear interest in visiting several destinations in the same trip, which are not always located in the same country. This also entails a novel approach to air connectivity, both international and intra-regional, which will also be approached with a joint vision to improve the efficiency of the action.

“ALTA’s mission is to offer spaces for collaborative and proactive dialogue that will lead to concrete actions to develop air transportation and, with it, an extensive productive chain that generates socioeconomic welfare for the population in Latin America and the Caribbean. The discussion held by the Ministers of Tourism of Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador is the continuation of an initiative originated at the 2019 ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Brasilia together with ICF (ALTA member since 2004), and a fundamental step to work together in order to develop regional connectivity and bring more opportunities to more places in our countries”, said José Ricardo Botelho, Executive Director & CEO of ALTA.

Yolanda Perdomo, ICF Tourism Strategy Expert and moderator of the panel in which the initiative was forged, praised “the ambition and far-sightedness of this collaborative exercise, which positions the Ministries of Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia at the forefront of innovation in tourism, both in product and positioning as well as in governance”.

“Our countries have an incalculable potential for tourism. Promoting cooperation and stimulating joint actions for the sector, especially for the airline segment, is fundamental for the world to know our beauties, our history and our culture. We work every day to structure our destinations and reduce the bureaucracy of the sector in Brazil to receive tourists and investors. We are aware of the importance of tourism for the generation of employment and development in our countries”, said Minister of Tourism of Brazil, Gilson Machado Neto.

“We share the interest, with neighboring countries, in exploring an offer that includes complementary experiences for those long-haul tourists who seek to visit several destinations in the same trip. Good coordination between our countries to attract the attention of this type of traveler requires us to design specialized, differentiated and sustainable experiences”, expressed Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, María Ximena Lombana Villalba.

According to Minister of Tourism of Ecuador Niels Olsen, “this is a valuable opportunity to show the international trade a high-quality, sustainable multi-destination product that can incorporate such emblematic places that are part of the World Heritage List as the Galapagos in Ecuador, the Coffee Cultural Landscape or Cartagena in Colombia and Iguazu or Pantanal in Brazil. We would also demonstrate the potential of public-private collaboration at the international level.”

ALTA, the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association, and ICF, the international Consulting Firm specializing in aviation and integrated and sustainable destination management, have committed to set up a joint technical support team to support the development of the initiative and give it visibility and follow-up in future events.

Jared Harckham, ICF’s Vice President of Aviation and Tourism, said “it is a pleasure to contribute to the materialization of an action of this magnitude, making available ICF’s senior expertise in air connectivity, integrated destination management, sustainability and communication”.