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LATA Palace of Westminster Reception 2019

14 Mar

The annual All Party Parliamentary Group for Latin America and the Latin American Travel Association (LATA), held its annual reception in the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday, 12 March 2019.

Sir Alan Duncan

Sir Alan Duncan, the Minister at the FCO responsible for the Latin American region, who had come straight from the Brexit vote in the House of Commons, made a very entertaining speech; Hilary Bradt MBE (Bradt Guides) was inducted into the LATA Hall of Fame; and Claire Wilcox, was recognised with LATA’s ‘Special Recognition Award 2019’ for her role as co-curator of the landmark exhibition ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ at the V&A. Mark Menzies MP, chair of the All Party Group, and Colin Stewart, the LATA chair, were the hosts, for the evening.

Hilary Bradt & Colin Stewart

Claire Wilcox of the V&A and Colin Stewart

On presenting the awards Colin said: “At LATA, we are honoured to recognise the contribution of Hilary Bradt and Claire Wilcox for driving public awareness and interest in the LATAM region. Their contribution has had a significant part to play in the recent growth and success of the region and we are delighted to be able to recognise these achievements.”

Chris Pickard

LATA Foundation chairman, Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard, had the opportunity to update members of the Lords, Commons, and LATA, as well as the Latin American diplomatic community in London, on the Foundation’s recent activities, including the support in 2019 of core projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa, Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Honduras, Panama and Peru. Chris also name checked and thanked many of the companies present for their support of the LATA Foundation that had allowed it over the past decade to touch and change for the better the lives of thousands of people in just about every country and corner of Latin America.

Ending by quoting from Monty Python’s “The Bright Side of Life”, Chris said he hoped that the  LATA Foundation could continue to help people less fortunate in Latin America to be able to “laugh and smile and dance and sing” again.

The Latin American Travel Association is a membership organisation that promotes sustainable travel to the region. The membership is made up of tourist boards, airlines, hoteliers, tour operators, local tour companies, lodges & other travel and tourism related entities that operate to and around Latin America.

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Count Down to Experience Latin America by LATA

24 Apr

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Experience Latin America by LATA, the new b2b trade show bringing together key suppliers from Latin America with buyers from the UK and Europe, is on track for launch in less than eight weeks time. So far the event, which is being held between 16–18 June, at 40 Bank Street, in London’s Canary Wharf has attracted around 100 confirmed exhibitors from a cross section of suppliers operating in the region. LATA has also announced details of the seminar programme with two categories – ‘Uncover’ or ‘Discover’ seminars.

Exhibitors including tourist boards such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Quito and the CTO; leading airlines serving the region such as AirEuropa, Avianca, British Airways, Caribbean, Copa, Iberia, LAN, TAM, TAP and United; hotel companies including Alvear, Belmond, Fasano Hotels, Grace Hotels and Inkaterra, are among those exhibiting and even leading cruise lines, such as Silversea, have recognised the promotional and business opportunities the event brings.

With delegates by invitation only and registration growing daily, the three-day show will bring together carefully-selected companies wishing to increase business to Latin America, including Brazil. Pre-scheduled meetings, inspiring seminars and plenty of networking opportunities should ensure a cross-section of Latin American suppliers and overseas buyers and media get ample opportunity to meet and network, learn about new products and strengthen existing relationships.

LATA chairman and Critical Divide director Chris Pickard said: “We are delighted by the response we have had for the first year from both the suppliers and the buyers – a true reflection of the interest from the UK and Europe in Latin America as a destination and the belief of the Latin American suppliers in the future growth of the UK outbound market.

“We did not make it easy for ourselves in holding the first Experience Latin America during the World Cup, especially when the tournament was in Latin America itself, but LATA is looking beyond 2014 and sees this very much as an annual event that will be a must do on the calendar of anyone involved in travel and tourism to Latin America.”

40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London

40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London

The seminar programme is a fundamental part of the experience for buyer and supplier delegates to engage, interact and learn at Experience Latin America. The ‘Discover’ and ‘Uncover’ seminars will provide education, inspiration and interaction for all delegates attending the event.

‘Discover’ seminars will be destination themed offering delegates the chance to learn about each region and specific product highlighting the incredible variety of experiences in Latin America.

‘Uncover’ seminars will look at the topical issues facing tourism to Latin America in general. Expert speakers and panellists will inform on current trends, perceptions and opportunities in Latin America, and highlight its enormous potential for increased business. Topics will include:-

  • Key sustainable tourism trends in Latin America for the next 10 years
  • How to get the most out of your social and digital media strategies
  • Routes to the UK market
  • Why adventure travel is essential to the future of tourism in Latin America
  • Key European booking trends
  • Growing niche markets in Latin America
  • How hotel and transport safety in Latin America affects you
  • Trends in cruising in Latin America.

The Experience Latin America social programme will kick off with an official launch party on 16th June sponsored by Air Europa.

Chris Pickard re-elected chairman of LATA

6 Jun

CNN Business Traveller CP 02

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) has held the first meeting of its new executive committee for 2013/14. During the meeting Critical Divide’s Chris Pickard was re-elected chairman. The other officers for 2013/14 are Sue Faithfull – Vice Chairman, Byron Shirto – Honorary Secretary, Lesley Roberts – Treasurer, Ed Paine – LATA Counsellor.

The full LATA committee for 2013/14 is:

Amanda Sweeney (Rainbow Tours)
Byron Shirto (Talking Stick Marketing)
Chris Pickard (Critical Divide)
Claudia Morales (Branding Latin America)
Colin Stewart (Air Europa)
Edward Paine (Last Frontiers)
Lesley Roberts (United Airlines)
Liza Masias (Inkaterra)
Lupita Ayala (Mexico Tourism Board)
Lyn Hughes (Wanderlust)
Priti Mehta (Silversea Cruises)
Ray Blok (British Airways / Iberia)
Sara Nozal (Aviacircle)
Simon Heyes (Senderos)
Sue Faithfull (Brazilian Chamber of Commerce)
Wendy McNeill (Americas)

LATA Travel Writers of the Year 2013

14 May

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) crowned the winners of its prestigious media awards in front of an audience of LATA Members and media guests at an event held at Peruvian restaurant, Coya, in Piccadilly on 13 May., supported by PromPeru.

Mutel Easter Island

Glen Mutel took top prize in the consumer category with his story on Easter Island: ‘To the Ends of the Earth’ published by National Geographic Traveller. Whilst Travel Trade Gazette’s Pippa Jacks was triumphant in the trade category with her story on Guyana: ‘On the Prowl’.

Jacks Guyana

Author and TV presenter Lucy Cooke took highly commended for her piece on Colombia: ‘Explore Colombia the Warrior Way’ published in in The Mail on Sunday; and writer Chris Peacock was recognised for his story on the Peruvian Amazon in National Geographic Traveller: ‘The River Wild’. Travel Weekly’s Joanna Booth was highly commended for her feature in Aspire entitled ‘Argentina, Quick, Quick, Slow’.

Peacock Peru

The jury also made a special mention of Bill Knott’s High Steaks published in British Airway’s High Life, a piece that perfectly reflected the trend of food as the focus for a travel article; and for Carolina Miranda’s The Perfect Trip Costa Rica in Lonely Planet that covered all bases for travelling to this increasingly popular destination.

The annual LATA Travel Writers of the Year awards recognises the writers who have, in the opinion of the LATA judges, written the most inspiring travel articles on one of the Latin American countries represented by the organisation. Earlier this year, LATA honoured Michael Palin at a House of Lords reception with the LATA Media Award for 2013 for his contribution to Latin America and tourism in general.

Palin LATA

LATA Chairman and Critical Divide CEO, Chris Pickard, praised the quality of entries received for this year’s awards with the judges receiving a record number of submissions.

“The judging panel this year not only had to deal with the increased quantity of entries, but also the fantastic quality of writing of so many of the pieces,” said Chris. “Glen’s story about Chile’s Easter Island touched the judges because it starts with him not being sure why he had made the long trip south, but by the end he and the reader are totally caught up by the magic of the location. It made me want to hop on a plane.

“Pippa Jacks’ piece was not only well written and informative, but it was also a brave and more unusual choice of destination than the norm you find in the trades. It made it clear to travel agents that while not every day they may have a client wanting to visit Guyana for the wildlife, but if they do, it is not a difficult trip to organise. An article like this can make a difference.”

Interest in the awards was so great this year that LATA is considering expanding its categories next year to encompass visual presentation, recognising the stunning use of Latin American imagery in the media, as well as digital and social media presence.

Winning prizes included a masterclass in Peruvian cuisine from none other than Ceviche’s celebrity-chef Martin Morales himself, as well as vouchers at the Argentine chain Gaucho and the Mexican restaurant Lupita East.

LATA choose St John Smiths Square as venue for party

27 Oct

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) has chosen the historic St Johns Smith Square in Westminster to host its annual World Travel Market Party.

This year’s event, that takes place on Tuesday, 6 November, is sponsored by the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau. Critical Divide is involved with the organisation of the event.

Critical Divide backstage at the Olympic opening

29 Jul

Critical Divide had Abigail Pickard-Price backstage, front of house, dancing and performing to capture a bit of the atmosphere and joyful spirit from the big night and the opening of the 2012 London Olympic games on 27 July through the lens of her camera.

An opening night that was a triumph for director Danny Boyle, his creative team, and the cast of thousands made up from professionals and volunteers who generously gave up their time to put a smile on the face of London, Britain and the world.


Photos by Abigail Pickard-Price

My Royal Appointments – Kent Gavin

2 Jun

Kent Gavin, the Mirror’s royal photographer who is responsible for many of the most iconic shots of the royal family taken in recent decades, has launched a coffee table book of some of his best work.

My Royal Appointments was launched at a reception in the House Basement of Soho House on 30 May, the eve of the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Gavin was kept very busy throughout the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and was one of only two photographers invited on board the Queen’s Royal Barge for the Thames River Pageant.

My Royal Appointments is published by M-Press, the publisher responsible for Critical Divide’s autobiography of Ronnie Biggs, Odd Man Out: The Last Straw.

Both My Royal Appointments and Odd Man Out: The Last Straw can be purchased from Calm Productions.

M-Press chairman, Cliff Moulder, is also appropriately the chairman of the company behind Majesty magazine, one of the Queen’s favourite reads.