Note published in the newspaper El Tribuno on August 10, 2019
“Salta comes third in the tourism meetings ranking, in a country which is growing”
Text: Marianela Pereyra-Photo: Prensa Turismo
Senthil Gopinath is the CEO for International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA). This organization was founded in 1963 by a group of tourist agentes with the objective to exchange information about international congresses and conventions.
This year, ICCA chose Salta as the destination for its eighth meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean. Interviewed by El Tribuno newspaper, Gopinath provided his views on tourism in Argentina and referred to the current challenges to be faced.
Why was Salta chosen for this meeting?
We organize an annual meeting and this is the first time it is held in Argentina, Salta. It is highly important, not only for ICCA but for the whole community. It is an event where we bring clients who are scientific associations’ presidents, pedriatics or surgery, who were visiting the city and learning about it.
There are more than 100,000 ICCA members all over the world representing more than 100 countries, and today it decides to be here together with Salta postulation, competing with over seven other destinations worldwide and in Latin America. We hold fifteen Latin American countries in our membership.
What is your view on tourism meetings in the country and Salta?
Argentina is one of the destinations which have been increasing in the business, and Salta holds the third place in the ranking within this country and above all, whose position is very important, placing it among more than 364 cities in the world in our scale. By being here today, we are not only exchanging knowledge, business development and economics, but we are also showing Salta to the world, through all the channels you can imagine, across our net of more than 1,100 members around the world.
What is your opinion about the work performed in Argentina concerning tourism?
State and private cooperation is something that we from ICCA, always try to encourage. It is a key element and Argentina´s one is a first class example as this development is noticed here, there is a plan in place, which Argentina has been working to some extent for a long time, trying to position itself in the meetings industry.
This industry, which is for the rest of the public, generates an income per participant four times higher than a conventional tourist. That is why we call it industry, as besides it energises other industries. Argentina owns a strategy which has been fostered for a many years and which has today been consolidated and positioned it as one of the first countries in the world in tourism meetings. In our ICCA’s rank, it is one of the first twenty countries in the world and it also has cities within the rank of twenty cities.
Indeed, it proves that the public-private synergy collaborating with a concise, concrete common plan carried out by several clearly conscious leaders developing it, has positioned Argentina as a benchmark in tourism meetings.
What challenges are there?
By growing and positioning ourselves as a reference, we have to continue our professional development by training our teams. This is the challenge, continue the professional development of each of the team members who are working to remain in place and move forward in a highly competitive world, where Argentina holds one of the first places.
Today an educational session was held …
Education is a fundamental issue as we have to generate opportunities to produce knowledge and learning.
ICCA together with a local committee is at the moment providing the possibility of bringing first class speakers who are currently interacting with different ICCA members.
We deeply believe in education as a tool to foster professional development. When people are growing up, they many times forget about it, they put it aside. We do not. We want to continue fostering it, give it a strong emphasis and promote work and learning to all and each of the participants to make their products, in a highly competitive world, not just competitive but unique; and their makers to try to position themselves likewise, in the same way.