Shout-Africa’s Novell Zwange had an exclusive interview with the President of Embratur – Brazilian Tourism Board, Jeanine Pires, who was recently in Johannesburg, South Africa ahead of FIFA 2014 World Cup™ to be hosted in Brazil. Below is the Q&A session:
NOVELL ZWANGE (NZ) : What challenges do the hosting of FIFA 2014 World Cup™ present to Brazil?
JEANINE PIRES (JP) We have a few challenges here and there, but we have organised in Brazil a strategy beyond 2010 expectations.
NZ : Could you please give estimate figures or a percentage of African tourist arrivals to Brazil over say the past 2 years?
JP : It is not such a big percentage, but 2010 saw 20 000 Brazillian tourists coming to South Africa alone. As you know Africa is one of Brazil’s new opportunity markets, with about 20% of Brazil exports coming to Africa.
NZ : While promoting Brazil as a tourism destination, and besides Africa,which other markets are you prioritising?
JP : We would love to have as many visitors from Africa, and we are also targeting South America. We have some priority markets like Argentina, and we are also setting our eyes on Spain, Turkey, India, USA and most countries which Brazil has economic relations with.
NZ : Are you going to set up regional and international centers for the promotion of the 2014 soccer spectacle, and what plans have you got to tap more into the African market?
JP : Last year we had the official launch of the FIFA 2014 World Cup™ logo here in South Africa. We also had some public exhibitions and street activities which we held through our Brazil Sensational
Experience programmes. But what is important for us here is we managed to hold mutual meetings with our African counterparts, and what we have learnt from Africa is the way Africans are willing to receive international visitors. I personally learnt about the spirit of Ubuntu from our African counterparts. It is so inspiring to us. We have got strategy with big PR programme and we want also to launch our international marketing campaign.
NZ : And what comprehensive plans do you have as to gain maximum pre-event and post event coverage from the international media?
JP : In 2010 we hosted events in South Africa for the international media to see a little bit about Brazil and to have some information about the country. It also coincided with the launch of our new
international tourism marketing campaign: “Brazil is calling you!” This campaign was presented in South Africa during FIFA 2010 World Cup™ by the Brazilian Tourism Minister, Luiz Barretto. During the event, the promotional film directed by Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meireles was also unveiled to public. The film will be broadcast in various countries. In 2014 we want also to provide for non-accredited media, because we want more people to know about Brazil and to have more people spend more time in Brazil.
NZ : Do you think you met your set goals for the Brazil Sensational Experience hosted in South Africa?
JP : Yes our goals were successfully met. We now have until 2014 a focus to achieve $9.1 billion, 700 000 job creation and $2 billion direct realisation to Brazil tourism. In 2010 we hosted our Brazil
tourism campaign on the African continent to an international acclaim. The launch of our 2014 promotion as well as the official launch of the 2014 logo was a huge success.
NZ : Any challenges faced so far?
JP : We are improving our urban mobility, and are working on the transport challenges, as well as the $11 billion in investments on infrastructure, I think the challenge for us is specifically just that.