WTM 2015: Brazil project aims to 'harvest tourism' from Olympic Games

WTM 2015: Brazil project aims to 'harvest tourism' from Olympic Games

Brazil will launch a large-scale marketing project next year in a bid to harvest tourism from the Olympic Games “better than it did after hosting the World Cup”.

Speaking at WTM on Monday, president of the Brazilian tourist board Embratur, Vinicius Lummertz said the country failed to “do enough promotion” after hosting the World Cup last year, and that it will change its strategy for the 2016 summer Olympics and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro .

Lummertz also said the tourist board itself is going through an “institutional change” to become more connected with the private sector, including airlines.

“We are trying to have a better result for the Olympics than frankly we had with the World Cup,” he said.

“We had a great result, but not enough promotion afterwards. I think we should harvest it better. First we will launch a new project, partly inspired by Brand USA, in February.”

Brand USA was established by the Travel Promotion Act in the US, to spearhead the nation's first global marketing effort to promote the country as a “premier travel destination” and communicate entry and exit policies and procedures to international visitors.

Lummertz continued: “We are 27 states with hundreds of different destinations and we have to develop them, not only logistically, but the awareness of them. “They are better connections now. Airports are better and regional airports are going to be better as well.”

Lummertz said investment in Brazil’s hotels has grown. The number of rooms in Rio has doubled in recent years and there are a total of 450,000 hotel rooms in the country.

Speaking of next year’s marketing campaign, Lummertz said: “We are going to be using a lot of singers, including international ones, who will get together and use the language of music to foster the image of Brazil.”

He continued: “As part of this new institutional design we plan to have a closer relationship with airlines, Brazilian and foreign.

“We are investing $4million in neighbouring countries for the summer and we should be investing more in Europe – we already are, we have an office here, but I think the partnerships with the private sector will help.

“And the exchange rate will help. During the last few years we were promoting Brazil with a large scale event but the exchange rate did not help.”

The Brazilian real hit an all-time low against the US dollar this year.

“I think Brazil will be increasingly discovered for its originality as a destination. We have something new to offer,” said Lummertz.

Brazil’s minister for tourism, Henrique Eduardo Alves, added that significant investment has gone into the regeneration of parts of Rio and that the country “has been learning a great deal from the UK and London’s hosting of the Olympic Games”.

“We are completely aware that in hosting the largest sporting event in the world, it a unique opportunity for us to celebrate Brazil in a way that it does deserve to be celebrated,” he said.

Alves said the construction of Rio’s Olympic Park is around 80% complete and that it has been financed 78% by the private sector.

The minister announced that plans have been submitted for approval by the president to cancel the requirement for a tourist visa in the 90 days prior to the Olympic Games in Rio next year, and for some time afterwards.

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