Claudia Terrade, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Quimbaya Latin America


Visit Latin America: What lessons should the tourism industry learn from this pandemic crisis?

Claudia Terrade, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Quimbaya Latin America

Claudia Terrade, CEO and Founder of Quimbaya Latin America

The tourism industry has been used to crises, but we had never faced a pandemic before. Our creativity has being put to the test. The greatest lesson is precisely that: without creativity, our industry cannot move forward and today more than ever we must let our imagination go further in order to satisfy this need for escape that every human being has in him.  More than ever we need to move forward and use all the means we have available to us so that our travel journeys are creative and respond to the new normality.

VLA: During the last few months, how has Quimbaya Latin America organised itself and prepared itself for the restart of tourism?

It will soon be 9 months since this crisis began. We have gone through very different stages and today we know that the crisis is far from over. The preparation for the recovery is still underway and we will continue this preparation until we know when travel will resume.

Every day bring us new information and gives us new ideas to keep moving forward. We follow the health news in each of our countries and markets to keep our customers informed on a regular basis. We have already obtained several mandatory biosafety certificates like the Safe Travels stamp in several countries (Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and Brazil so far.) which guarantees that we comply with the measures put in place by governments for the reception of passengers safely.

Our production for 2021 is ready! We offer a wide range of services, Multi-Day tours and Guaranteed Departures in French, English, Italian and German. We have modernised and improved our sales and booking tool by digitalising our programs and processes. We are now very proud to present our QUIMBAYA AGENT. This tool will allow our customers to easily access all our production, to know the availability online, to book and confirm their requests in real time. At the same time, we continue to promote and publicise our destinations. Our customers will soon have some nice surprises that will allow them to know everything about our countries!

VLA: The press has sometimes communicated very harshly about the situation in Latin America, what is the real situation?

It’s true, Latin America has been an easy target for a certain media, always ready to highlight the difficulties of our countries. Unfortunately few countries have been spared by this crisis and we cannot say that all our countries have reacted badly to the crisis.  Most of them have remained confined for a very long time and the recovery has been slow and cautious. Then, in the contrary to what one might have imagined, the populations in Latin America are very disciplined and respectful of the health measures, including those whom the government didnt apply very strict measures,

VLA: The reactivation of tourism is eagerly awaited, but will it not also be accompanied by a real transformation in travellers’ expectations?

Defining today the expectations of post-pandemic passengers with certainty is not easy. However, defining the offers that we, tourism professionals, can offer them is quite possible. Travellers will need to be reassured about the health conditions of their trip.  Our offers will guarantee everywhere and at every moment of the trip, the biosecurity rules that are compulsory in each country. This will undoubtedly be a determining factor. Also, for several years now, more and more of us have been offering trips that respect nature, the environment and the people our passengers meet. Responsible and Solidarity Travel has become a real option and a need for most of our travellers.

VLA: What message would you like to send to tourism professionals?

This crisis has stopped our industry and has put us all to the test. At the same time, it has allowed us to discover positive things that we should remember. In our 33 years of existence we have built strong relationships with our customers and suppliers and it’s really rewarding to see that.

This crisis has also allowed us to question ourselves and, above all, to question certain aspects of our operations in the industry.  In the post-Covid world, more than ever, it will be necessary to be respectful and supportive of each other.


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