Edgardo Valdes Lopez, ambassador of Cuba; Ignacio Llanos Mardones, ambassador of Chile; Mariana Alvarez Rodriguez, charge d’affaires, minister and deputy head of mission for Argentina; Rachel Williams, Viva Expeditions; Alfredo Rogerio Pérez Bravo, ambassador of Mexico; Javier Prado Miranda, ambassador of Peru Edgardo Valdes Lopez, ambassador of Cuba; Ignacio Llanos Mardones, ambassador of Chile; Mariana Alvarez Rodriguez, charge d’affaires, minister and deputy head of mission for Argentina; Rachel Williams, Viva Expeditions; Alfredo Rogerio Pérez Bravo, ambassador of Mexico; Javier Prado Miranda, ambassador of Peru

Growing Kiwis’ confidence in Latin America

How to grow consumer confidence so New Zealanders will travel again to Latin America post Covid-19 was on the agenda when Viva Expeditions managing director Rachel Williams caught up with the Latin American ambassadors in Wellington recently. The group also discussed creative ideas to be able to market the various destinations within Latin America with limited resources available in the short to medium term.

Williams says there was considerable positivity coming from the ambassadors as their countries begin to reopen to tourists. Argentina has opened to neighbouring countries as has Chile and Peru. Cuba is receiving tourists from Canada and the UK while in Mexico popular destinations such as Cancun are operating at 50% compared to this time last year.

Some of these countries are requiring a negative Covid test on arrival and have temperature checking at intervals over the first 24 hour period before visitors are able to move freely. All countries have social distancing and other measures in place to minimise risk.    

‘While this is positive news, re-igniting the New Zealand market will take time,’ says Williams. ‘There is also the need of ensuring regular airline connectivity between New Zealand and Latin America and of course the much awaited vaccine is seen as a must before Kiwis will return in high numbers. However Viva is already seeing growing interest and bookings for the more secluded destinations such as Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands and the ambassadors report receiving multiple calls per day from Kiwis wanting to travel,’ says Williams.

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