Rio de Janeiro, Olympic host city, was one of the highlights presented to travel agents
The monuments and natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro, the historic town centre of Diamantina, the baroque churches of Salvador and the features of architect Oscar Niemeyer in Brasília were all part of the presentation of 12 key destinations made to travel agents in London. The course was conducted by Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Institute), on 18 May, at the Embassy of Brazil in London. This was the second workshop of this format to be put on in partnership with GOL Airlines. In total, 27 travel agents received the course over two editions in 2016.
Information about the destinations and their characteristics, as well as the main attractions of the places considered cultural heritage sites by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), were the main focus of the presentation to the 12 travel agents in attendance, amongst whom there were tour operators and on-line agents.
Among the trainers, Travel Places, the official agency of the Paralympics, took part. They will be responsible for the travel logistics of British athletes along with partners BOA and BPA. As well as the presentation’s main theme of the cultural heritage sites, the trainers drew attention to the possibility of being able to witness the Paralympics in Brazil via a more accessible price range.
“The course is an excellent opportunity to show Rio’s cultural side, before it takes its place as the Olympics and Paralympics host city for 2016’s Games, which begin in August. But it was also crucial to us to make sure we highlighted for our English clients the tourism possibilities in Brazil, which go beyond the old ‘sun and beach’ stereotype, and include a supremely rich and varied culture allied with sensational natural beauty”, said José Antônio Parente, acting President of Embratur.
According to Lilás Nascimento, representative of the UK Brazilian Tourism Office, the objective of the course, in addition to presenting the Olympic Games, was to encourage travel agents to promote Brazil as a potential destination, by making available more practical information with regards to possible trips. “And also, unforgettable package trips which make tourists want to come back and visit other destinations”, she added.
Liliam Chagas, Chief of the Brazilian Embassy in London’s Commercial sector, commented: “There is a trend at the moment of an increase in the flow of British tourists to Brazil, thanks in part to the Olympics and also to our own efforts to up our promotional activities”.
Sabrina Diamante, GOL Europe representative and Aviation Director of Discovery The World UK, highlights factors such as the GOL Air Pass as being great opportunities for increasing the ease of connectivity between internal Brazilian destinations for reasonable prices. “The 12 UNESCO destinations in Brazil can all be reached within GOL’s network”, she emphasised.
England is the European country which provides the 3rd largest amount of tourists. According to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism’s Yearbook, 217 thousand Brits visited Brazil in 2014. As of this moment, there are 23 direct flights between England and Brazil per week.
According to UNESCO, among 981 regions listed in 160 countries, Brazil accounts for 19, of which 12 are cultural. The 12 UNESCO national heritage regions were recently promoted in an exhibition at the Embassy, and range from pre-historic locations up to modern ones, taking in the colonial period. The exposition will be moving on to another, soon to be decided, destination.
List of destinations:
1.Historic city of Ouro Preto;
2.Historic centre of the city of Olinda;
3.Jesuitic Missions of the Guarani, including the ruins of São Miguel das Missões;
4.Historic centre of the city of Salvador;
5.Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos in Congonhas do Campo;
6.Pilot plan of Brasília;
7.Serra da Capivara National Park;
8.Historic centre of the city of São Luís;
9.Historic centre of the city of Diamantina;
10.Historic centre of the city of Goiás;
11.São Francisco Square in the city of São Cristóvão;
12.Landscape between the mountains and the sea in Rio de Janeiro.