Flag of Brazil
Ambassador Barbosa Launches
Ambitious Promotion for Tourism
By TIM BOXER
pon assuming his post a year ago as Brazil’s new ambassador to the United States, Rubens A. Barbosa decided to implement his vision. He set out to accomplish what had been virtually neglected by his office prior to his arrival – affirming his homeland as a hot tourist attraction.
“When I arrived last year,” he said, “there was no coherent strategy for a sustained promotional effort in the American market.”
Called “Visit Brazil,” his effort has succeeded admirably in raising Brazil’s profile in the travel trade.
“Many doubted the initiative would lead anywhere,” Barbosa admitted. “Others thought it simply the whim of a new ambassador.”
Barbosa addressed a roomful of tour operators and travel writers at a “Visit Brazil” presentation held at the New York Sheraton in June. Previous such gatherings were held in Washington, Los Angeles and Houston. The next assembly will take place in December in Miami, followed next year by Chicago and Atlanta.
Although such meetings have succeeded in strengthening ties between the American travel trade and the Brazilian embassy, Barbosa isn’t quite satisfied.
These meetings between American tour operators and travel writers and the Brazilian travel industry “must become more than a series of periodic road shows,” he insisted.
|Recent opinion poll in U.S. Suggests:
89% of Americans Think of Brazil as a Beautiful Country
68% Consider Brazil a Tropical Paradise
To that end he’s created an executive council to design and implement all future “Visit Brazil” activities. The council will be composed of key tourism officials in Brazil, the embassy in Washington and representatives from the private sector.
“Private sector membership in the council,” Barbosa said, “will entail financial contributions on a yearly basis to match funds provided by the Brazilian government.”
Barbosa will first invite all airlines serving Brazil to be the initial members of the council. The council may then be expanded to include hotels and tour operators all working to promote Brazil as a primary tourist destination.
The ambassador expects that by the time of the Miami meeting in December, the “Visit Brazil” Executive Council will be fully operational, with activities budgeted and goals clearly set.
NEXT: A Tourist in Paradise – One person’s sojourn in Rio.