Panama will always be with you. Mexico way beyond imagination. Colombia: the problem is you might want to stay. These are some of the slogans that the 32 countries in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and also Africa, including Egypt, Cameroon and Tunisia among its representatives, have launched in order to attract the attention of professionals during the 36th Brazilian Congress of Travel Agencies.
Many countries have invested in experimentation so as to showcase some more of the local culture. One of the representatives of the United States, the city of Las Vegas, for example, has bet on the exuberance by inviting participants to choose among dozens of wigs, eyeglasses and lots of feathers, including photographs taken in a studio.
Argentina has put together various stands featuring different attractions that the country has to offer, and some companies invested in their own spaces, as was the case with Tango Palace, which showcased the art of dancing with professional dancers. The new concert hall in Buenos Aires, inaugurated in April this year, participated for the first time in the Congress of the Brazilian Travel Agency Association (Abav) eyeing the Brazilian market.
"Brazil is our number one market. Approximately 30% of our customers are from here. What we offer is a differentiated product: for US$ 85, the tourist can walk across a space of 100 square meters including life-size mock-ups of the city's main tourist points; purchase typical products, go to a bar where pizza and beer are served freely; a 360° cinema in which images of the capital are screened, free dinner, and a show featuring 12 dancers who illustrate the evolution of Tango. It is a differentiated product," says the head of sales, Leandro Cano.
The Brazilian market is also the target of the Dominican Republic, for which tourism is the main source of income. "We have been attending the Congress for three editions now. At first, we would only receive 4,000 Brazilians; as of 2007, the figure reached 12,000.
In addition to the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean beaches, we have highly wealthy monuments such as the house of Diego Colombo, the firstborn son to Christopher Columbus, who discovered America, as well as the continent's first cathedral, university and hospital, and we are also considered as the global golf capital. The Brazilians will surely love it," says the advisor for Tourism Promotion, Nodalia Arias.
The congress of Abav was held until October 24 at Riocentro and for the first time it occupied five pavilions in the Convention Center, with an exhibition area of 51,000 square meters (549,000 square feet), as against 27,280 square meters (294,000 square feet) in the last edition.
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