The 3rd Tourism Matchmaking event of the Pacific Alliance, held in the Peruvian capital in order to strengthen the flow of travel within the intraregional sphere and encourage tourism from the Chinese market, brought forth business deals for USD 8 million between member countries of the bloc alone.
This figure was achieved thanks to the 2,430 business meetings held on 7 and 8 June and it represents a 43% increase against the previous event.
Outbound and inbound tour operators and airlines participated in this meeting. A total of 229 companies from the four member countries of the Pacific Alliance attended, with a significant participation of 20 Chinese tour operators, a market prioritized by the block for joint promotional actions. In this occasion, 30% of participants visited Peru for the first time.
“Success would not be possible without the commitment for a deep integration from the member countries of the Pacific Alliance. The III Tourism Matchmaking event has been an opportunity to strengthen the commercialization of combined packages for the Chinese market that include the main attractions of our countries, as well as to promote tourism products intraregionally,” said Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Magali Silva Velarde-Alvarez, who will soon hand over the pro tempore presidency of the bloc to Chile.
The countries of the Alliance recorded in the first quarter of this year an average 35% increase in arrivals of Chinese tourists. According to preliminary estimates, an average growth of 15% in visits of Chinese tourists to the bloc’s countries is expected by the end of this year, which means that over 170,000 Chinese tourists will be visiting Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
At the closing of the Matchmaking, Marisol Acosta, PromPeru’s director of Tourism Promotion, indicated that these business meetings allow to identify marketing opportunities, integrating new products into travel programs combined among the bloc’s countries, for both the intraregional and the Chinese markets: “Tourism between our countries has been favored with the entry of new airlines and new routes, as is the case for Mexico’s Interjet, Latam flights between Antofagasta and Lima and Avianca’s upcoming flight from Bogota to Cusco,” she said.
“In this meeting we are not only talking about destinations, but also of new products, like a gastronomy route integrated by the four countries. Additionally, through the bloc, we can take advantage of Mexico’s air connectivity with various world capitals,” said Omar Macedo, representative of Mexico Tourism Board for the Pacific Alliance.
Meanwhile, Joanne Ellis, Chile’s Vice-ministry of Tourism Advisor, pointed out that the Pacific Alliance represents an opportunity for the southern country to exploit, for example, the city’s attractions and the cuisine of Santiago de Chile. “We can also promote southern Chile’s Andean crossings to Argentina, which would be very interesting for Mexican and Colombian tourists. We are also increasingly working on the integrated routes with Peru,” she said.
“Our four countries do not compete with each other, we complement our destinations, gastronomy, routes and connectivity. We must find our strengths, since each country comes with an offer that is differentiated and complementary to a tourist package,” said lastly Enrique Stellabatti, ProColombia’s Vice President of Tourism Promotion.
Next year, Chile will host the IV Tourism Matchmaking event, where US operators focused on the Chinese market will participate for the first time. This meeting will take place during the first half of 2017.
In addition, as part of the efforts to strengthen ties with China, a road show will be held in the cities of Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, from 19 to 26 August, that will include the participation of 28 companies from the tourism sector of the bloc. As many as 480 business meetings are expected to be held.
The Pacific Alliance was created with the aim of building an economic and trading regional integration in the Asia-Pacific market, particularly the Chinese market.