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Visa waiver leads to spike in bookings to Brazil
Brazil’s visa waiver policy announced in March is already generating positive results. Recent data from a study done by Amadeus Group shows a significant increase in the number of reservations made in the United States, as well as in Canada, Japan and Australia, the other three other countries benefiting from the new policy. Amadeus is one of the 10 largest technology companies in the world and one of the three largest in the travel segment.
In the United States, the increase was 53% in the number of trips confirmed for June and 97% in July compared to the same period of last year. In Canada, growth was 86% for June, 54% for July and, expressive, 135% for August this year.
“The numbers show that visa exemptions for strategic countries are a good measure, which generates jobs and income in Brazil. It is time for the country to take advantage of all its tourism potential”, said Marcelo Alvaro Antonio, the Brazilian Minister of Tourism.
Here are some suggestions of amazing destinations in Brazil for all tastes:
• Historic Cities: If you like your vacations with a heavy dose of culture, Brazil should definitely be on your list. We have several historic cities, with a heritage dating back to its colonial period. In Minas Gerais State, you can find cities like Ouro Preto and Diamantina – the center of gold mining in Brazil in the 18th century. In the Northeast state of Bahia, you will find Salvador, the first capital of Brazil, and a city that also has a rich history of its African heritage. A few miles from Salvador, in the State of Pernambuco, you will find the city of Olinda. Founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the city is linked to the sugar cane industry, with gorgeous Baroque churches, convents, and views to die for.
• Sun and Beach: With more than four thousand miles of coast, its exuberant nature bordering the beaches with coconut trees, and tropical forests, Brazil has options for all travelers looking to spend time outdoors. Most know the famous urban beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis or Fortaleza, but there are also small beach towns like Trancoso, Boipeba, and Jericoacoara that can offer unique spots to get a tan. You can even find a stretch of sand in the Amazon, in the beaches near Manaus, along the Rio Negro.
• National Parks: Brazil’s natural beauties go beyond beaches and forests. The country is also blessed with great diversity, which includes waterfalls, canyons, wetlands and many different types of ecosystems throughout its many national parks. Think- Iguazu Falls, one of the most important forest reserves in South America. Another highlight is the Pantanal, in the central region of the country, home to hundreds of endangered species. And of course, the Amazon Rainforest.
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Bartlett pumps J$200 million into Linkages Networks
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has committed J$200 million to the Linkages Networks to help build out more products to enhance the visitor experience and ensure more inclusive growth in the sector.
Speaking at the launch of the new Top Events Jamaica Initiative yesterday at Devon House, Minister Bartlett said, “This year, we will be spending 200 Million dollars on the Networks to create the level of inclusiveness that connects the ordinary Jamaican to the tourism product and the product to the ordinary Jamaican.
This will be a huge game changer and we are going to change the narrative and also change the feeling of the public that tourism is only for the bigger suppliers and doesn’t include the smaller players.”
The Tourism Linkages Network’s (TLN’s) main focus has been to bring local tourism suppliers in contact with other sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. In doing so, the Linkages Network creates more economic opportunities for our local tourism suppliers who can then earn more.
Driving this inclusive growth are five networks geared towards building out authentic Jamaican experiences for the visitors and increasing the earning potential of small suppliers and they are – Gastronomy, Sports and Entertainment, Shopping, Knowledge and Health and Wellness.
The new Top Events Jamaica initiative, being spearheaded by the TLN, is designed to increase visitor participation in events and activities island-wide through strategic partnerships and leveraging the power of technology, social media, and advertising.
In highlighting the importance of this new platform, Minister Bartlett, said, “Top Events will place all our best entertainment products and offerings under one roof. In doing so we are allowing visitors and locals alike to chance to find these offerings with the click of a button. Top events will be a critical element that brings together our authentic Jamaican entertainment products under one roof through the use of technology.
This type of interface is critical in the age of technology especially given that entertainment forms a large part of why people travel and as such there is value in building out more products of this nature to drive arrivals and growth in the sector.”
The Top Events initiative will include a microsite and an easy to use mobile app to increase visitor awareness and participation in the over 900 events held in Jamaica each month. To qualify for listing on Top Events, event organizers must meet the predetermined criteria outlined by the TLN that guarantees continuity in the content delivery and effective data capture.
The TLN’s Sports and Entertainment Network (SEN) will be the driving force behind Top Events Jamaica and the body ultimately responsible for the final selection of “Top Events” to be added to the event calendar.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, Corporate Communications, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, Tel: 920-4926-30, Fax: 920-4944
Marthinus van Schalkwyk: New South African High Commissioner to Australia
News broke during World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town that effective Monday, April 15, Marthinus van Schalkwyk will transfer from Athens to Australia for the next four years as High Commissioner (Ambassador).
The tourism trade in South Africa and from the World of Tourism remember fondly Marthinus van Schalkwyk from his years as the Minister of Tourism of South Africa.
On April 29, 2004 Van Schalkwyk was appointed by President Thabo Mbeki as Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism for South Africa. He held the position until May 2009, when a new Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs was created and he became Minister of Tourism.
Van Schalkwyk became President of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in June 2008, when South Africa assumed the presidency of AMCEN at the beginning of its 12th Session.
In its annual review of ministerial performance for 2013. the Mail and Guardian honored his significant contributions as Tourism Minister.
Antigua and Barbuda strengthens its partner relations for win-win solutions for the upcoming cruise season 2019/2020
Antigua & Barbuda’s Tourism Delegation led by the Hon. H. Charles Fernandez held a series of meetings with the country’s critical cruise line Partners at Seatrade Cruise Global, the cruise industry’s largest annual conference being held at the newly rebuilt Miami Beach Convention Center.
The annual Seatrade Cruise Global Conference presented Antigua and Barbuda with a not to be missed opportunity to showcase its products and services to the cruise industry buyers and decision makers. It provided unique networking opportunities with industry leaders from all facets of the industry, and exposed its tourism executives to the conference’s educational industry programs, which allows participants to stay ahead of the curve.
The Country’s vibrant destination booth was a hub of activity as Antigua and Barbuda tourism officials conducted a series of one-on-one meetings, and media interviews.
In its communication to the major cruise lines the destination provided updates to its industry partners on its recently announced partnership with Global Port Holdings (GPH) and the Government’s strategic plans to expand the St. John’s Port facilities, to position the destination to take advantage of the growing industry trend towards larger cruise ships.
GPH also used the opportunity to announce its partnership with its two new Caribbean destinations Antigua and Barbuda and the Bahamas at a gala reception attended by over 600 cruise industry stakeholders.
In meeting after meeting Cruise-line executives reconfirmed their support for the initiative taken by Antigua & Barbuda to improve its infrastructure to offer the best possible service to cruise passengers. This more than anything else will ensure it remains well positioned as a premier cruise destination of choice within the Caribbean on many of the cruise line itineraries.
A major increase for the destination comes from a Key European cruise line partner TUI Cruises whose new ship the Mein Schiff 2, will increase calls to the destination after an absence of three years. Mein Schiff 2 will visit the destination on its inaugural call on November 6th with a total of 13 calls for season 2019/20 bringing over 37,000 passengers.
Another key Partner Norwegian Cruise Lines will return with the Norwegian “Epic” which was a diversion that has now become permanent, along with the Norwegian “Bliss” in the breakaway plus class. This ship will make its inaugural call on December 9th with over 4,000 passengers.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) one of the Country’s key partners confirmed that larger ships will be serving the destination this upcoming season and we will see an increase to approximately 250,000 passengers this year from its various lines. Antigua and Barbuda continues to record strong customer satisfaction scores of 8.8 out of a maximum of 10 with RCCL guests.
MSC cruise lines the world’s fastest growing cruise line, indicated Antigua is and will continue to be a key port of call as the company has 10 new ships on order and will be increasing its fleet to 29 ships with the delivery of one new ship per year up to 2027.
In a joint meeting with representatives for all the Carnival Corporation Cruise Lines the commitment was given at the highest level by all the attendee member lines to continue to work together with Antigua and Barbuda to our mutual benefit.
The Country’s presence at Seatrade also facilitates local stakeholder partners to also meet cruise line executives to increase their tours and excursion business. Local partners included Wadadli Cats, South American Ventures Ltd, The Rendezvous Company and Tropical Adventures.
Minister of Tourism the Hon. Charles Fernandez in all meetings thanked our cruise line partners for their support over the years and reconfirmed our commitment to work with all partners for win-win outcomes as the country continues on its development path to be a premier port of call for all cruise lines visiting the Caribbean. “The Industry leaders have reported that 2018 was the best year for profitability and have forecasted that, with a record orderbook for 70 new ships over the next three years and a record 25 million set to cruise in 2019, the Caribbean continues to be the world’s number one cruising destination. The renewed focus on improving our infrastructure by the Government has now positioned the destination to increase its share of this business,” said Minister Fernandez.
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