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May 12, 2015

American Travel Industry Professionals Prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games


Photos by: Fernanda Biagini of BACC-SE

Atlanta, April 30, 2015

The city of Rio de Janeiro is expected to receive 380,000 foreign tourists for next year’s Olympic Games, according to Miguel Jerônimo the U.S. East Coast Director of the Brazilian Official Tourism Board (Embratur). Mr. Jerônimo's presentation took place at the seminar "Tourism in Brazil", held at the Brazilian Consulate headquarters in Atlanta on April 30.

The event was organized by the Consulate General of Brazil in Atlanta and Delta Air Lines, in partnership with Embratur and the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast Inc. BACC-SE aimed to equip travel agents and operators with information on initiatives and programs that the Brazilian government and Delta have developed to meet this demand.

Embratur is showcasing the world’s 5thâ?¯largest country in 5 segments: culture, adventure, sports, sun and beach, and business and events. Jerônimo explained each segment, offering experiences, highlighting the country's cuisine and the hospitality of the Brazilian people.

"This hospitality made a lasting impression on the tourists who visited Brazil during the World Cup," said Jerome. A survey by Datafolha, commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, after the Cup in 2014, showed that 95% of foreign visitors intend on returning to the country, and that 83% felt that their experience in the country met or exceeded their expectations. Jerônimo remarked that the enthusiasm of Americans for soccer was a big surprise. The survey also indicated that Americans on average stayed an extra two days in Brazil during the cup.

Jerônimo also highlighted the sports segment, emphasizing the investments that have been made in infrastructure to welcome tourists for the series of major sporting events that the country is preparing to host. Among them are the World's Indigenous Games 2015, the Olympic Games and Paralympic 2016 and the University Games of 2019. By 2020, the expectation is that the country will have received approximately 20 million tourists.

Luciano Macagno, Director of Delta Air Lines in Brazil, stated that Delta has been investing heavily in the Brazilian market in order to improve the experience of travelers to the country. Macagno said that nowadays Delta offers daily flights to and from the Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, and that all flights are made in their cutting-edge aircrafts, with first-class seats that recline 180 degrees. Macagno also highlighted that Delta offers a menu with traditional Brazilian dishes and drinks, such as the brigadeiro and the caipirinha, to ensure that the passengers start enjoying the “Brazilian Experience” from the plane.

Macagno also highlighted Delta’s strategic partnership with Gol Linhas Aéreas (Brazil’s largest airline), which allows Delta passengers to not only travel inside the country, but also guarantees them the same advantages and experiences of Delta Airlines.

Many agents raised questions about visas to Brazil. Deputy Consul of the Brazilian Consulate, Ricardo Barros, said that the Consulate is already organizing to expedite this process, and will have special teams solely dedicated to issuing visas for the Olympics; just as they did for the World Cup.

Kim Velker, President of Always Traveling agency, commended BACC-SE for supporting the event. Velker mentioned that she plans to share the information she gathered at the event with her customers, and already has ideas for a Facebook ad on her agency’s page.

Michael Eiseman, President of VIP Tour Group, said that Embratur is “an asset". He highlighted the accessibility of Consul-General of Brazil in Atlanta and Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of BACC-SE, Ambassador Hermano Ribeiro to the Brazilian business community.

For more information, visit bacc-se.org. BACC-SE is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to foster trade and investment between Brazil and the United States, serving as the main vehicle of information, connection and support for business development between the two regions.




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