This erratic blogger is now in New York City. I am representing ESCP Europe at the headquarters of the United Nations. I lived here, a city some call the capital of the world, for 3 years during my undergraduate studies. Back in the days, when I mentioned to new acquaintances that I am Brazilian I used to hear commentaries about carnival, women, and/or soccer (mainly Ronaldinho or Pele). Today, I mostly hear about Lula and our strong economy. Brazil, who has always been perceived as an exotic place, now is also been perceived as the place to be.
As I was walking down Broadway Avenue, I saw on the top of a taxi an American Airlines publicity with the image of an airplane and in capital words something like: “ Rio de Janeiro, we take you there!” (too bad I didn’t take a picture). I asked myself: who is selling the tour packages to New Yorkers that want to visit Brazil? Is it an American or a Brazilian company?
In NYC the place to find any answer, as long as you are not trying to understand women, is the colossal New York Public Library. After a few hours in the centenary library I found out that BTOA (Brazil Tours Operators Association), an association of 40 U.S. tourist agencies, is responsible for 85% of the sales of tour packages to Brazil.
Brazil is such a hot destination for Americans that BTOA, in partnership with CBS media, has announced on Friday (22/04/11) $ 1 Million project to promote travels to Rio de Janeiro in New York City. This promotional campaign will start in September and will include 37 TV channels, 144 radio stations, 550 billboards and more than 200 sites.
Tourism is booming in Brazil. The World Tourism Organization projects that international tourism to Brazil will continue growing (5,2%) above the world average (4,3%) resulting in 14,1 million arrivals by 2020.
If you, dear reader, are in Rio, expect to see many more American “gringos” in the near future.