Nation e-Edition

Brazil now 6 hours direct

Brazil now 6 hours direct Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and Barbados’ Ambassador to Brazil Yvette Goddard at a Press conference in Sao Paulo. (Kenmore Bynoe)

By Kenmore Bynoe | Sun, June 27, 2010 - 1:05 AM

The football greats of Brazil, the internationally acclaimed Rio Carnival and cheap shopping are now just six hours away from Barbados after the GOL Linha Aerea Inteligentes (GOL Intelligent Airlines) landed its inaugural flight to Barbados last night.

The feverish and aggressive work from Minister Richard Sealy and the Barbados Tourism Authority paid off with the direct six hour flight out of Sao Paulo, Brazil, landing last night to signal what is expected to become opportunities for educational, cultural and sporting forays into South America. Previously, any Barbadian trip to Brazil, Argentina, involved almost 20 hours of travel via Miami.

Prior to the inaugural flight, Sealy along with Barbados’ ambassador to Brazil, Yvette Goddard had met with a major travel and trade magazine Brasilturis along with a contingent of the Barbados media in Sao Paulo where the Minister indicated the arrival of GOL resulted from his Government’s thrust to be more creative in existing markets and seeking business in new markets.

While not being overly optimistic of the one week flights arriving or departing full, the Minister indicated that Barbados currently obtained about 500 visitors from Brazil. “The arrival of GOL provides the scope of moving the arrivals from Brazil from 500 to 5 000 passengers annually,” Sealy said.

When quizzed over passengers arriving but not spending the Minister highlighted the fact that the passengers arriving on GOL would have to spend at least seven days in Barbados which would involved the concomitant spending while in the country. “Five thousand arrivals a year would be a good start based on a minimum of 60 passengers on each flight,” Sealy mentioned.

“GOL is a very good partner and Barbados having a permanent representative in Brazil; plus the fact that Brazil of 2010 is different from the nation of 1995. Brazil is the eighth largest growing economy in the world and it is the second largest market in the Western Hemisphere,” Sealy argued.

Sealy said Barbados needed to explore the many cultural and sporting opportunities which had been ignored in the past as we had biased our interest towards the North. “The entertainment and sporting success of the Caribbean region have increased the profile of our people and generated greater interest.

“However, some work in destination awareness has to be done as an unscientific poll done on the streets suggest that many Brazillians know of Rihanna but do not know of Barbados or most of the other Caribbean islands,” Sealy added.

Ambassador Goddard alluded to the fact that Barbados and Brazil were already enjoying exchange discussions in the sugar cane industry as well as in health.

She indicated that Barbados’ thrust into the South American market would not compromise the security arrangements which have always been in place for travel between any countries and Barbados.

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