Members of the Latin American Travel Association (LATA) took centre stage at the British Airways headquarters in Waterside last week to promote the diverse region to the airline’s hundreds of employees.
The event was hosted by the airline’s Ethnically Diverse Employee Network (EDEN) to celebrate Mardi Gras and British Airways’ Diversity Day.
The event also celebrated the British Airways and Iberia merger, which was completed in late November 2011, and saw the gateway to Latin America significantly improve. As a result, passengers now benefit from access to an increased number of destinations across South and Central America, as well as a rise in the number of direct flights.
Aiming to raise awareness and promote the many exciting developments that are happening in the region, LATA co-ordinated the efforts of different members. Exhibitors included PromPeru, Panama Tourist Authority, Mexico Tourism Board, the Argentina Tourist Board, Visit Brazil Travel Association, as well as tourist boards from Colombia, Turismo Chile and the Dominican Republic, Wanderlust Publications, and the LATA Foundation.
LATA Chairman Edward Paine said: “With Brazil hosting the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016, the country and Latin America will be thrust to the centre of the world stage.
“Global events such as these are expected to increase the visitor numbers to Latin America and the British Airways-Iberia Diversity Day was a great opportunity to raise awareness of the region and highlight just what’s on offer.”
Brazilian salsa, ZUMBA demonstrations, tango dancers and a Mariachi band provided the day’s entertainment. Wanderlust founder, Lyn Hughes, joined by a panel of Latin American experts discussed the region and shared their expertise.
Raffle tickets were sold with prizes kindly donated by the LATA members to include accommodation in Mexico and Argentina, Chilean wine and travel and photography books, with 90 per cent of the proceeds to the LATA Foundation with 10 per cent to British Airways Flying Start charity.