BRAZIL BECKONS CANADIANS: Takes new approach to tourism
Brazil’s Embratur has joined the Canadian association of tour operators (CATO), an unusual arrangement for a tourist board, but one that reflects the South American country’s keen interest in the Canadian tourism market.
And vice versa, says Embratur’s head of international marketing, Carolina Stolf, who told Travel Industry Today in a recent interview at WTM London that the number of Canadian visitors to Brazil is continuing to grow, and has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels this year.
The high watermark was 78,000 arrivals in 2014, with this year’s arrivals expected to be just short of 77,000.
And while Canadians will be subject to new visa requirements to visit Brazil starting Jan. 10, Stolf assures that the process will be available online and easy to obtain, removing difficulty in getting documents as a deterrent to interest.
Stolf says Canadian visitors to Brazil are both corporate and leisure travellers, who benefit from 10 weekly Air Canada flights from Toronto and Montreal to Sao Paulo, as well as connections through Miami. Onward flights to other cities are plentiful due to the country’s extensive domestic air network with LATAM, Gol and Azul airlines (driving in most cases is not recommended and, in some cases, not possible.)
Top destinations for Canadians, according to Stolf, are Sao Paulo (the New York of South America), Rio de Janeiro, and Manaus, capital of the country’s Amazon region.
But Stolf says Embratur is eager to promote the other areas of the country, including Salvador and the northwest, known for great beaches but also Afro Brazilian culture, including axe music.
Promoting “Afro tourism” and other aspects of Brazilian culture are part of Embratur’s “new perspective,” says Stolf, noting its synergies with community-based tourism approach, which includes the native indigenous population of the Amazon, and a focus on sustainability.
“We want to offer more than sun and beaches,” she says.
Such as the Pantanal, a natural area of wetlands and wildlife less known than the Amazon; and the “Route of Emotions” – a breathtaking 500-km tourist route that encompasses beautiful beaches of the state of Ceará, through the unique landscapes of the Lençóis Maranhenses national park (including sand dunes), and the Parnaíba river delta.
Activities along the route include kite surfing, which illustrates the opportunity for travellers to combine unique activities and experiences with the destinations they visit, says Stolf.
Part of Embratur’s motive for joining CATO Is to help engage the Canadian travel trade. It follows the election of a new government in Brazil in 2023, which has led to a “new approach” to tourism, says Stolf.
“We rely on travel agents,” she says, “and we really want to keep in touch. Our message to travel agents is, ‘We want to reconnect.”
Besides its membership in CATO, Embratur will also launch a Brazil Travel Academy (available online and by app) in January.
Stolf also invites trade inquiries directly at Carolina.firstname.lastname@example.org.
First published at Travel Industry Today