Tag Archives: LATA Foundation

New Chair for LATA Foundation

3 Sep

After two years in the chair, Chris Pickard of Critical Divide has decided to step down and will be replaced as chair by Jude Berry of Americas. Nicola Gude of Senderos has been elected Vice Chair, and Richard Brass of Pimlico Trove has been re-elected Company Secretary and Treasurer.

Chris, the only person to chair both LATA and the LATA Foundation, will remain as a Trustee and was one of the original founding Trustees in 2008.

 

Chris Pickard elected chair of the Anglo-Brazilian Society

6 Aug

Critical Divide’s, Chris Pickard, has been invited and elected to chair the Anglo-Brazilian Society.

The Society was established in London back in 1943 to help to promote close and friendly relations between Brazil and Britain and to increase Britain’s knowledge of Brazil and its culture. The Society, which is based in the Embassy of Brazil in London, is a registered UK charity that is passionately committed to raising funds for worthwhile Brazilian projects, especially those that address the needs of underprivileged children and their families.

Chris also currently chairs the LATA Foundation, but will stand down at the AGM in September after ten years as a founding trustee and two as chair.

You can read more about and follow the activities of the Anglo-Brazilian Society on its website, Facebook or on Twitter @anglobrazsoc

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.

LATA Foundation Projects for 2019

14 Feb

The LATA Foundation has confirmed its 2019 charity initiatives focusing on conservation, poverty relief, education and community development. A selection of at least ten core projects will be supported throughout the year as well as one-off contributions to other essential causes.

Last year the Foundation supported projects in ten Latin American countries thanks largely to its key sponsors including Las Iguanas, Journey Latin America, Jacada Travel, Imagine Travel, Sunvil, British Airways, Belize Tourism Board and Last Frontiers(among others). LATAF also raised funds for emergency appeals such as providing nebulisers to those in need following the volcanic eruption in Guatemala.

At the start of 2019, the LATA Foundation will be supporting nine core projects with further projects planned for the rest of the year, as well as providing support for one-off causes.

Core projects for 2019 include:

Abriendo Mentes: Meaning ‘opening minds’ in Spanish, Abriendo Mentes is a small community-based project which aims to empower individuals from two rural coastal communities in Costa Rica. The charity provides innovative and engaging education programmes and activities including English and computer lessons, Zumba classes and lacrosse. These skills are critical in obtaining employment, particularly in the local tourism industry, which dominates the local job market.

Azuero Earth: Founded by ecologist Ruth Metzel, Azuero Earth Project is a conservation initiative based in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama. Dedicated to reforestation, habitat restoration, sustainable land management, and environmental education, the project aims to ensure the future of the Azuero environment, wildlife species, and local communities in this area that is fast becoming one of Panama’s tourist hot spots.

Buena Vida: The Buena Vida Foundation is an Argentine NGO that supports rural local communities to develop sustainable tourism initiatives and help generate local employment. Buena Vida nurtures and supports local cultures to hep preserve traditional forms of craftsmanship and attract revenue through community-based tourism initiatives.

Calicanto: Based in Panama City, Calicanto provides support to vulnerable women living in poor urban communities. Calicanto’s flagship programme is a seven-week course which provides essentials skills and training to help women-in-need. The final two weeks of the course consist of vocational training aimed at getting these women ready for work in either the hotel or restaurant industries. In 2018, Calicanto set up its own restaurant in collaboration with well-known Panamanian chef Mario Castrellón. The restaurant, called La Sexta, is staffed by participants of the CAPTA programme and all proceeds go back into funding the project.

Condor Trust: Based in Quito, Ecuador, the Condor Trust is an educational initiative enabling young Ecuadorians from low income families to attend secondary school and/ or have access to higher education. The ultimate aim is to support children and teenagers so that they can complete their education, find a job and break the cycle of poverty. The LATA Foundation provides funds for the provision of uniforms, books and school materials. Now some of the first students taken on during the early years of the project have graduated from university and flourish in professional jobs, demonstrating how successful the whole cycle of support can be.

Friends of Alalay: Friends of Alalay directly supports the Alalay Foundation, which was started in the early 1990’s by a 19-year-old Bolivian student who passed street children every day on her way to university and was determined to do something to help. Alalay rescues these children from the streets and offers them a loving environment living together in family cabins. Alalay also feeds, clothes and educates the children and encourages them in their future working lives. Since it started, the Alalay Foundation has helped over 10,000 children and adolescents and works with over 1,000 children annually, in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT): The LATA Foundation, works with the GCT to reduce the damaging effects of plastics in the Galapagos Islands.  With over 20 years of experience working with communities and local organisations, GCT are teaming up with Grupo Eco Cultural Organizado (GECO) to deliver a youth-led campaign to reduce plastic bag use on San Cristobal island by 50%. The project is based on a holistic approach to tackle this issue by raising awareness in the local community, working closely with local businesses and utilising the LATA connection to communicate with the tourism industry and tourists so we can all play our part in being Plastic Responsible.

Picaflor: Picalor House is an educational charity working in the small town of Oropesa and other villages in the surrounding rural area 25km outside of Cusco, Peru, to provide after-school support to students and families. Picaflor also supports the local community through hygiene programmes, taps for teeth washing and stoves for local families, having a far-reaching positive impact on the wider community.

Vidancar: Vidarte Space has several projects to help underprivileged children from the favelas of Rio de Janerio. Their main project, the Vidancar Dance School, is located in the Complexo do Alemao favela. It began in 2009 as an initiative to offer children from the favelas the opportunity to express themselves through the art of ballet. In recent years students have gone on to study and perform at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet, the ballet of Rio’s Municipal Theatre and the Conservatorio Brasileiro de Dança. Around 180 children benefit from this project on a daily basis.


The LATA Foundation is a 100% volunteer-run organisation and all proceeds raised are invested directly into its charitable projects. The LATA Foundation is proud to work with a strong network of volunteers, largely from the travel sector. In 2018, the Foundation increased the number of trustees to 12, from just eight in 2018. It is hoped that that the increased number will bring new skills and contacts to the group to help drive forward the fundraising efforts.

Learn more about the LATA Foundation at: www.latafoundation.org

Winners of the 2018 LATA Achievement Awards @ ELA

15 Jun

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) has revealed the winners of the LATA Achievement Awards for 2018. They were announced on 11 June during the B2B travel conference Experience Latin America (ELA).

Now in its 8th edition, the LATA Achievement Awards recognises individuals and/or companies who have made an exceptional contribution to the development of travel to Latin America.

The winners were voted for by a judging panel led by AITO Chairman Derek Moore and including Aneil Bedi, M&C Saatchi; Barbara Kolosinska, C&M Recruitment; Quinn Meyer, CREES Manu and Danny Callaghan, LATA, and they were:

CRUISE OPERATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Winner: Australis

Australis was awarded for providing an unforgettable cruise experience that includes travelling to some of the most remote regions of the world such as Cape Horn. The tours have resulted in outstanding customer satisfaction rates.

Runner-up: Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expedition was recognised for combining high-quality accommodation with immersive Amazon experiences such as their recently launched 2018 hosted departures.

PRODUCT LAUNCH OF THE YEAR AWARD

Winner: Belmond

Belmond was awarded for launching the first-ever luxury sleeper train in Latin America: the Belmond Andean Explorer. The trip takes guests to over 4,000 metres above sea level and travels through areas of the Andes that are not usually accessible to tourists, whilst offering in the epitome of luxury.

Runner-up: Maya Trails

Maya Trails was recognised for identifying the glamping market as one that has potential growth in Latin America, and for developing a tour called the ‘Mayan Community Glamping Trek’ that combines trekking in Guatemala with overnight stays in luxurious accommodation.

AIRLINE OF THE YEAR AWARD

Winner: Air Europa
Air Europa was awarded for its continent-wide support and for the introduction of the new 22 Dreamliner aircraft, demonstrating that the airline is investing heavily into its long-haul business, with the benefit of reduced fuel usage, fewer emissions and less noise pollution.

Runner-up: Norwegian Airlines
Norwegian Airlines was recognised for successfully disrupting the well-established Latin American aviation scene by launching its low-cost service to Buenos Aires and for creating an internal flight network servicing 72 Latin American destinations, opening up the destination to European travellers.

PEOPLE AWARD

Winner: Audley Travel

Audley Travel was awarded for going above and beyond to offer excellent training opportunities to its sales team with the aim of developing their product knowledge. For example, the company introduced an induction scheme during which staff are hosted in Latin America as a guest for one month. The programme has delivered impressive results with productivity up by 20%.

Runner-up: Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expeditions recognises that its employees are at the heart of the business and has developed a number of company schemes to ensure staff satisfaction. Some of the company’s initiatives include offering child benefits to all employees, and a ‘School for Parents’ scheme providing support to staff with young families.

HOTEL OF THE YEAR AWARD

 Winner: EcoCamp Patagonia

EcoCamp Patagonia was awarded for being one of the few operations permitted in the Torres del Paine National Park. The property is based on the design of indigenous houses in geodesic domes that blend in with the landscape. 90% of the power is provided from solar and hydroelectric sources.

Runner-up: Hacienda AltaGracia

Luxury Hotel Hacienda AltaGracia was recognised as one of the leading properties in Latin America offering a completely authentic Costa Rican experience. Visitors can engage with local communities and learn about traditional customs by joining a variety of programmes at the hotel.

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Winner: Amazon Nature Tours

Amazon Expedition Cruise Company, Amazon Nature Tours was awarded for its multi-faceted and strategic commitment to responsible tourism by ensuring operations have a minimal impact on the environment and for sharing the economic benefits of tourism with local communities.

Runner-up: Condor Travel

Condor Travel was recognised for its commitment to the environment and sustainable tourism highlighted by the creation of an NGO that manages the company’s social-environmental programme, and for its work with reforestation projects, and low-income families.

Highly Commended: Tierra Atacama

Tierra Atacama was highly commended for being the first hotel in South America to be 100% solar-powered, and for its exceptional sustainability measures including a water system that has eliminated all plastic bottles from the property.

MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Winner: Cox and Kings

Cox & Kings was awarded for its 2017 co-marketing campaign with PromPeru that highlighted Peru’s central tourism attractions and resulted in a 150% uplift in unique page views on Cox & King’s Peru page on their website and a 30% increase in bookings made to the destination.

Runner-up: Journey Latin America

Journey Latin America was recognised for its 2017 ‘TV and Cinema’ multi-platform campaign. The campaign showcased key aspects of Latin America, whilst being successful in raising awareness of the JLA brand and strategically targeting a specific demographic.

DMC / LOCAL TOUR OPERATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Winner: Peak DMC

Peak DMC was awarded for demonstrating its commitment to high-quality and safe tours by ensuring all staff receive real-life scenario training with paramedic instructors.

Runner-up: Cascada Expeditions

Cascada Expeditions was recognised for its efforts to offer guests a fully immersive Latin American experience by continuously seeking new programmes and developing new tours in lesser-known countries.

Highly Commended: Vapues Tours

Vapues Tours was highly commended for its environmental and sustainable tourism efforts such as working with university students to teach them about the importance of the environment.

TOUR OPERATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Winner: Latin Routes

Latin Routes was awarded for its diverse growth strategy, resulting in a turnover growth of over 150% in the last three years, as well as its commitment to pushing sales through travel agents.

Runner-Up: Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings was recognised for its dedication to increasing tourism to Latin America from the UK, and for piloting travel to the region through joint marketing work with tourist boards, one of which resulted in a 30% increase in bookings to Peru.

 

Dr Jago Cooper honoured with LATA Media Award at reception in the Palace of Westminster

7 Feb
Dr Jago Cooper of the British Museum was presented with the LATA Media Award for 2105 by LATA Chair, Byron Shirto, and the Baroness Hooper

Dr Jago Cooper of the British Museum was presented with the LATA Media Award for 2105 by LATA Chair, Byron Shirto, and the Baroness Hooper

The archaeologist and curator of the Americas at the British Museum, Dr Jago Cooper, has been honoured with the LATA media award for 2015 for his September 2014 BBC series Lost Kingdoms of Central American. The presentation took place on Wednesday, 4 February during the All-Party Parliamentary British-Latin American Group and Latin American Travel Association’s tenth annual reception ceremony, which was held in the Palace of Westminster and hosted by The Baroness Hooper CMG and LATA chairman Byron Shirto.

Dr Cooper follows in the footsteps of the supermodel Lily Cole, who received the award in 2014 for her film about and her work in the Amazon rainforest, in 2013 it was Michael Palin and in 2012 Jonathan Dimbleby.

Baroness Hooper, House of Lords life peer and president of the Anglo Latin- American Foundation, was also inducted into the LATA Hall of Fame, an honour bestowed on outstanding individuals and in recognition of the vital contribution she has made in the development of LATA and realtions with Latin America over the years.

The Baroness Hooper is inducted into the LATA Hall of Fame  (LtoR) LATA chair, Byron Shirto; Baroness Hooper; LATA Foundation Trustee, Chris Pickard; and LATA Vice Chair, Sue Faithfull.

The Baroness Hooper is inducted into the LATA Hall of Fame (LtoR) LATA chair, Byron Shirto; Baroness Hooper; LATA Foundation Trustee, Chris Pickard; and LATA Vice Chair, Sue Faithfull.

The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth office, a role that includes responsibility for Latin America, delivered the keynote speech, while Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard spoke on behalf of the LATA Foundation, for which he is a trustee.

Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP addressing the reception

Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP addressing the reception

Chris Pickard, of Critical Divide, spoke on behalf of the LATA Foundation

Chris Pickard, of Critical Divide, spoke on behalf of the LATA Foundation

 

More photos from the reception can be viewed on the LATA Fecebook page CLICK HERE

LATA Travel Writers Awards 2014

13 May

LATA Media Awards

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) has announced the winners of its 2014 Media Awards, held at the National Geographic Store in Knightsbridge, London on 12 May 2014. The winners were those who, in the opinion of the LATA judges, had written the most inspiring travel articles on one of the Latin American countries represented by the organisation.

Sunday Times travel journalist Chris Haslam took top prize in the consumer newspaper category with his Brazil feature entitled ‘Brazilliant’, published in the Sunday Times on 6 December 2013; a round up of the country’s many attractions linking in with the forthcoming World Cup being held in Brazil. Wendy Gommersall’s Mail on Sunday feature ‘Mexican Wave’ was highly commended and Vincent Crump’s Peruvian foodie piece ‘In Deepest Delicious Peru’ for the Sunday Times received a special mention.

Emma Gregg took the award in the consumer magazine category for her Peru feature ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ published in National Geographic Traveller; highly commended certificates were awarded to Nick Boulos for his piece on the Galapogos for Wanderlust; Laura Fowler’s ‘Where to Stay on Brazil’s Coolest Coast’ piece on Bahia for Conde Nast Traveller and Peter Browne’s ‘Welcome to the Party’ feature on Uruguay also published in Conde Nast Traveller.

The award for the best travel trade press feature went to Joanna Booth for her ‘Why The Long Face?’ piece on Easter Island, published in Travel Weekly’s guide for agents selling luxury products ‘Aspire’. Lauren Holmes writing about Rio ‘Beach and Beyond’ for TTG Luxury was highly commended and Jenny Southan was given a special mention for her piece on Rio, published in Business Traveller that successfully crossed between the B2B and consumer readership.

LATA Chairman and Critical Divide Director Chris Pickard said: “The standard of entries this year was higher than ever, which made the judging process very difficult. The LATA membership really appreciates the continued enthusiasm and interest from the media for all things Latin America and there is certainly no shortage of editorial coverage. Some of our members are very niche with small marketing budgets so the coverage is especially valuable and helpful to draw attention to the many and diverse attractions of Latin America.

“All winners are to be applauded but of all the entries Chris Haslam’s feature on Brazil for the Sunday Times was the front runner. A strong informative piece with good use of the World Cup hook to promote an alternative Brazil. Emma Gregg’s (photo) piece on Peru for National Geographic Traveller made you want to visit the jungle and gave a good feel for the experience.”

LATA Travel Writer Awards 02

The LATA Travel Writers of the Year Awards were judged by members of the LATA committee. Winners were presented with a variety of prizes including restaurant vouchers for Martin Morales’ Peruvian kitchen, Andina, and from Las Iguanas, wines from Garzon of Uruguay and copies of the first 1924 edition of the South American Handbook.

Earlier this year, LATA honoured the actress, super model and environmentalist, Lily Cole, with the LATA Media Award for 2014. Ms Cole had visited the Amazon in Brazil where she directed her own short film “Wild Rubber” She is also an ambassador for Sky Rainforest Rescue and the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), who between them are committed to saving a billion trees in the Amazon through green economics.

Full results on the LATA Facebook page