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Monthly Snapshots - September 2019: Other LATAM Countries Edition

Ecuador's move into the MICE market

Ecuador's 283,561 sq km form a natural marvel spanning the verdant Amazon, the dizzying Andes, and a coastal springboard to the Galápagos Islands. Ecuador has the world's largest range of biodiversity and along with its natural beauty, Ecuador is looking to further develop the level of its tourism industry by focusing more on MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) which is an area that is earmarked for growth in the next couple of years.

The minister of Tourism, Sandra Naranjo, has outlined her ministry's five-pillar strategy to maximize the pull. The first three shore up product and service delivery at key tourism destinations. The other two address increasing demand through greater connectivity with the consumer, the business world, and vitally, the investor. Around 15 international hotel brands such as Hilton and Marriott are already present in Ecuador.

Bolivia pushing to become global lithium hotspot

Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) (AFP) - Over 3,600 meters above sea level on the blinding white plain of the world's largest salt flat, landlocked Bolivia is dramatically ramping up production of lithium to cope with soaring global demand for the prized electric-battery metal.

The demand for Lithium is primarily driven by the surge in demand for electric cars, as concerns for the environment rise. This demand is particularly noticeable in China. By 2025, China will need 800,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.

Bolivia, one of the countries in the Lithium triangle, along with Chile and Bolivia have access to over half of the world’s Lithium reserves. However, due to mainly economic reasons, Bolivia has yet to be able to capitalise on this but this is set to change when its Llipi plant comes online in 2020. The factory, guarded by the army because of the metal's value, will have an annual production capacity of 15,000 tons of lithium carbonate, project manager Marco Antonio Condoretty told AFP.

So the future is bright for Bolivia, There are no estimates yet for how much lithium Coipasa and Pastos Grandes hold. Bolivia said last month that a new study found that Uyuni likely has at least 21 million tonnes of lithium, more than double a previous estimate. This represents a large potential for economic growth in Bolivia, and certainly a landmark event.

Colombia has the potential to be a world class sustainable tourism destination

According to the World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities". 

Colombia has the second-highest biodiversity in the world and is extremely ethnically and linguistically diverse. Therefore, it is no surprise that tourism has almost tripled since 2006.

Sustainable tourism is a huge economic driver in Colombia, and something that the government takes extremely seriously. During a meeting held in New York, the President of ProColombia, Flavia Santoro, said that the agency promotes the development of a sustainable and responsible tourism industry. "We believe that tourism must benefit not only the traveller, but also the destination, the community and the environment," said Mrs. Santoro.Therefore, sustainable tourism represents great potential for Colombia. And with the number only going up, it is likely to be a source of long-term economic growth for Colombia.

Argentina, the leader in wind energy in South America

Argentina is now host to one of the largest wind farms in South America after Cammesa granted the authorisation of the Madryn Wind Farm. The total investment for the project amounted to $320 million. The wind farm was funded by the Argentine company Genneia and it reaffirms Genneia’s leadership in the market. They now boast more than 40% of the wind share market in Argentina.

The project is a very exciting project, both economically and environmentally. To develop this park, the company invested $320 million US dollars, generating at the peak of the project more than 300 jobs. Moreover, the park has an average capacity factor of 51% and winds that blow at an average of 8.6 m / s, characteristics that will allow it to generate 987,000 MWh of energy per year and take care of the planet by avoiding the emanation of 495,000 tons of carbon at the atmosphere.

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