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  -  Culture Ready   -  Industry insights   -  Industry insights – Latin America
Latin America – Ezequiel Nuñez and Cecilia Allende, Pacific Travel Planners

Cultural differences between Latin America and New Zealand
Engaging with the Latin American market
Benefits of cultural understanding
Latin American visitors eating and drinking habits
The potential of Latin American market

If you think about the numbers of South America, we are talking about South America – not Spain, the numbers are amazing. We need a bit more promotion. If we promote more, we connect better. Definitely the numbers will increase. For example we got a lot of Argentinians with the new Air New Zealand flight – the direct flight from Buenos Aires to Auckland. This market grow a lot.

Brazil is like a dormant child. And I think if Air New Zealand entering in Brazil or they arrive with Air New Zealand plane, we can wake-up the child.

Cultural differences between Latin America and New Zealand

Give the people that are coming from this big city or this big market time to realise that here the rhythm is different. Like sometimes they are coming with stress and accelerate, but after 2 or 3 days they realise that, oh is not much stress. Here it is quiet. For example, for safety sometimes the women are with their handbag all the times. It’s not a problem you can leave it, nobody is going to take it. Then they realise it. Our way to ask something comes as a little rude. Maybe we are not so polite. But it is a cultural thing. For example here we say please and thank you. We don’t use much the please. We ask ‘I want this’. And in English it can sound very rude.

We are not that formal. In regards of time, we are making last minute booking. For us the norm, we just plan our holidays 2 month in advance. New Zealanders are booking quite long time in advance. So here they may say, you are crazy you are trying to book the New Year’s holidays in 2 months in advance. For Latin Americans it is quite advance.

This kind of understanding and don’t get angry or hammering them because they are booking late. It is how things works there. You have to understand in the context where they operate. The economy changes, the exchange rate changes all the time. Sometimes they don’t want to book early.

People love the Kiwi culture. They just fall in love. Not only with the nature, just with the people. I think just be yourself. Be open to this kind of difference. We might get bit late, but that’s how we are. Don’t take it personally.

Understanding about food and drink

In Spain or South America, we are used to have dinner very late. Like 8.30, 9 pm as the earliest.

And when people come here and they have dinner at 5.30 or 6 pm is a big change. And sometimes they are finding very difficult.

Because if they are going to a restaurant at 8.30 in little towns maybe they cannot find any restaurant open.

We use to eat with bread, and if restaurants want to give a better service they put a plate with bread. They are going to love it.

We are not used to pay for the bread. And they are being charged for bread – they will think how rude for charging me for the bread.

But these kind of things are cultural difference. But on the other hands, sometimes we are surprised, the water is free.

In our country if you want water, you have to pay for the water because they are not serving the tap water in the tables.

How to engage with the Latin American market

One important message if they want to engage with the Latin American market will be have more material in Spanish. Recorded commentaries – like they are doing with the Chinese and the Japanese.

I think the language barrier is huge. If we produce collateral, a lot of people speak Spanish living now in New Zealand.

And if we can get more from those people, if we leverage those resources, the impact could be huge.

And if you get information in Spanish, people that speak Spanish or Portuguese you are going go to ahead from your competitor.

The people from Brazil or Portugal are used to travel with Spanish because it is very similar. If we can cover Spanish it will be great.

And if we got Portuguese it will be much better. It will be going to be a big surprise for the Portuguese people.

Benefits of cultural understanding

I think there is a huge need to bridge the two cultures. Let’s say the New Zealand and the Latin market.

Better understanding of their needs. And not put all the Latin markets in the same bag, which is OK when you start as an emerging market or we talk about Latin America.

Try to think Europe as a whole. Though there are differences between Germans from the Italians. In South America the Mexican are bit different from people from Argentina and the Brazilians to the Chileans etc.

There are differences. Let’s say Franz Josef and you try to talk about the glaciers here in New Zealand to an Argentinian. And they don’t know what the galciers look like in Argentina probably the people can be a bit disappointed.

The more you get engaged, and you know the market, it is better.

Huge potential with the Latin market, in general. The more we push, more people get involved with the Latin market is better for everyone.

Industry insights – Latin America