By Jorge J. J. Martínez
The good news is that the meetings industry of Mexico and Latin America continues to improve, even as we accept that the pandemic has changed things forever. Several MICE organizations and personalities have assured us that reactivation will continue at a steady pace. Among these is David Hidalgo Ayala, show director of IBTM Americas, an organization connecting the Latin American MICE community.
“Las reuniones van bien, de acuerdo al COMIR, mencionaba que este año nos quedaremos atrás de la meta de recuperación respecto a 2019, a un 15%-20% del volumen de negocios que tuvimos ese año. Ya no es tanto de acuerdo a lo que hemos venido perdiendo”, compartió David.
“According to COMIR (the Mexican Meetings Industry Council), the [Latin American] meetings industry is doing well; this year we will fall behind by only 15 or 20 percent volume of business compared to 2019. That’s not so much compared to what was being lost before,” explained Hidalgo Ayala.
Other data gathered by COMIR indicate that they expect to close 2022 with positive growth of slightly more than 20 to 30 percent compared to 2021, showing that Mexico’s MICE industry is steadily recovering.
For its part, PEIIR (Portal Estratégico de Información de la Industria de Reuniones en América Latina, or the Strategic Website for Latin America MICE Information), which represents the barometer for MICE Latin America, stated that the general perception is that we are very close to total reactivation.
“Today’s numbers tell one story, however one must consider that the mix of businesses is currently different. Approximately 52 percent of meetings events now are in person, with the remaining 48 percent being either virtual or hybrid,” stated Hidalgo Ayala.
For MICE romantics, in-person events will always be the most important, and although in order to be resilient the industry has adapted to the new era, in-person activities continue to augment.
“Some 52 percent of Latin America’s events organizers report a substantial increase in the number of people participating, and that’s good news not only because we are seeing the rejuvenation of events, but also due to the volume of participants compared to 2021, when attendance was way down,” expressed the show director of IBTM Americas.
Illustrations of this reactivation include the AMEREF event in Chihuahua, to be the first venues summit of the northern border, as well as Tianguis Turistico de Mexico and IBTM Americas, all with in in-person activities.
“The great news for Mexico and Latin America is that we are steadily recuperating, which, if nothing interrupts us, will lead to consolidation in 2023,” concluded David Hidalgo Ayala.
Boris Iraheta, marketing manager for Corsatur, stated that El Salvador is ready to host international events.