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Vinicius Lummertz has replaced Vicente Neto as president of Embratur, the Brazilian Tourism Board. This follows changes made after President Dilma Rousseff’s reelection in November 2014, including the replacement of former tourism minister Vinicius Lages with Henrique Alves.
Substantial changes to certain international tourism plans were another result — and certain aspects of the U.S. plan seem to be in flux. Still, Brazil’s efforts to attract U.S. tourists continue, most visibly via last month’s high-profile Embratur sponsorship of Rock in Rio, Las Vegas.
While in Las Vegas, we caught up with Alexandre Nagakawa, coordinator of the North American market for Embratur, and compared the tourism board’s post-election marketing plans with those Neto had described in summer of 2014.
Did the presidential election affect the U.S.-facing Embratur tourism and trade plan?The Aquarela Plan was devised as a long-term strategy to promote Brazil, regardless of changes in the government or in the Ministry of Tourism. Adjustments can be and have been made, but overall the election did not affect Embratur’s promotional plans.
Can we still expect the Brazil Sensational Olympics digital marketing campaign or the roadshows that were announced by former Embratur president Vicente Neto in summer 2014? Embratur modified its outreach plan to better serve the U.S. market according to feedback from hub city agents. There will be a roadshow focusing on the Brazilian Luxury Travel Association; this will be our first roadshow in partnership with the private sector. It will go to Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
Embratur also participated in the IGLTA conference. In the second half of the year, fam trips and one possible press trip are in the plans.
What other big events remain in Embratur’s tourism plan for 2015? We plan to attend IMEX America in Las Vegas and the USTOA conference.
Neto said that partnerships between public and private sectors are key for expanding Embratur’s U.S.-facing promotional efforts. Is this still true?Our partnership with LaTam this year is only a co-op (joint sales calls), but we did organize a fam trip in the second half of 2014. There was also a partnership roadshow with the tour company Goway Travel that went to six Canadian cities and Chicago.
We are excited about a new partnership with Delta Air Lines; the airline sought partnership with us to raise the profile of its “Latinization” initiative. We just did an event in Atlanta to kick it off, and we are in negotiations to expand it in coming months.
Is there a change in strategy as pertaining to which Brazilian destinations will be heavily promoted in the U.S.? Our destination focus is now on six key destinations: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Trancoso, Manaus, Florianopolis and Fernando de Noronha.
In Rio de Janeiro, the most familiar Brazilian destination for Americans, we are promoting the Rio + 3 campaign, which showcases all the other beautiful places that are within a 3-hour drive of the city of Rio and within the state of Rio de Janeiro. We hope to increase tourism to beautiful day-trip destinations including Buzios, Petropolis and Paraty.
Embratur had a definite presence at Rock in Rio. Were you happy with the exposure you got? Yes, we were very happy. We feel Rock in Rio was a great place to showcase Brazilian culture. We saw a high number of people experiencing Rock Street Brazil, which had samba dancers, capoeira dancers and Brazilian bands.
We feel that many visitors realized that Rock in Rio is a different type of festival than Americans are used to, and hopefully it inspired them to come to Brazil in September and experience the festival in its birthplace.