Sports tourism from Brazil link
Wed, June 16, 2010 - 12:32 AM
by MIKE KING
MINISTER Of Tourism Richard Sealy says several cultural and sports tourism benefits could be realised from Barbados’ forthcoming airline link-up with Brazil.
At a Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) Press conference held at Hilton Barbados yesterday, Sealy said sports such as football, hockey and polo could benefit from the airlift in and out of Brazil which starts on June 26.
“There are all kinds of opportunities for many sports, namely football, hockey and polo. I would like to think that sports tourism could benefit a great deal from teams coming from Brazil, the largest country in South America.
“It may not necessarily be a national team but there are club, state and school sides who would relish the chance to visit here.
“I will wait to see to what extent some of the sporting organisations here will take advantage of it. The prices are affordable. It is certainly cheaper than going to Europe,” he said.
The new service, a six-hour non-stop flight to Sao Paolo, is in association with GOL, a low-cost low-fare airline which offers about 800 daily flights to 61 destinations connecting cities in Brazil. The service will operate weekly out of Sao Paulo, on Saturdays, using a 737 aircraft with about 130 commercial seats.
Flights will depart Sao Paulo at 4:35 p.m. to arrive in Barbados at 9:15 p.m.
The turnaround time will be approximately 45 minutes before the flight returns to Brazil for arrival on Sundays at 4:35 a.m. Sao Paulo time, which is one hour ahead.
Additionally, potential travellers will be able to book their travel both through the GOL website at www.voegol.com.br or through tour operators.
Before a head table that included BTA president and CEO David Rice and Brazil’s Ambassador to Barbados, Appio Claudio Acquarone, Sealy said the Brazil link-up could have spin-offs for masquerade band leaders.
Stressing that Barbados was keen to partner with GOL, Sealy said Brazil’s growth rates were impressive, just over five per cent, and the per capita income was also growing.
The minister said much work still had to be done.
“Sustainability is the key. We have got to work hard. This is the point I make to the BTA officials. We have to work the market.
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