Travel agents now have a terrific new resource for travel and packages to Brazil. The Brazil Tour Operators Association (BTOA) just debuted its new 26-page brochure. The organization’s 24 Active Members – tour operators who are all seasoned travel professionals, many accredited by IATA – and who are recognized experts about Brazil, are listed in the new brochure. To receive copies, agents can email: [email protected]
Brazil is one of the bright spots in world travel today. Tourism is growing, airlines are adding flights, and new hotels are opening. North America is the second largest market for Brazil. Visitors from the US and Canada come for many of the world’s most sensational beaches, its vibrant culture, festivals like Carnival, charming Colonial towns like Salvador and Ouro Preto, and eco-tourism attractions including the Amazon and the Pantanal. Next year, the country hopes to attract nine million visitors and US$8 billion in revenue. And with Rio’s win of the 2016 Olympics bid, Brazil will be the first South American country to host the Games.
Current Active BTOA Members include: AAT American Adventure Tours; Abreu; Air Projects; American Express Vacations; Avanti Destinations; Borello Travel and Tours; Brazil Nuts Tours; Brazilian Vacation Center; BROL/Brazil Online Travel; Chanteclair; Cox & Kings USA; Discover Brazil Tours; Dumonde Travel, 4 Star South America Tours & Travel; Fredson Travel; Globus; HOTUR – Just Brazil Vacations; Marnella Tours; Pan American Travel Services; SITA World Tours; Skyline Travel Specialists; Tourlite International; VIP Tour Group; and Visit Brazil Tours.
The organization’s Associate Members are five Brazilian states: Amazonas, Bahia, Ceará, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco and the city of Rio de Janeiro and the Iguassu Convention and Visitors Bureau. This year, Pernambuco is BTOA’s “Destination of the Year.” This state in northeast Brazil – relatively undiscovered by Americans so far – has much to interest visitors. The Portuguese settled here in the 1530s and with the riches from sugar cane built beautifully-ornate churches. Set on a hill next to the capital of Recife is Olinda, a UNESCO World Heritage site with some twenty 16th and 17th century churches and monasteries. Lining the town’s cobblestone streets are art galleries, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and charming pousadas housed in centuries-old mansions. Recife, lying on almost two miles of white sand beach, has a laidback vibe that recalls the Miami Beach of years ago, and it offers fabulous dining – the city’s restaurants are rated second highest in the country. Pernambuco boasts 116 miles of beautiful coastline. In fact, in a national survey, Brazilians have voted for Porto de Galinhas, the most beautiful beach in the country for seven years in a row! And 215 miles off the coast lies Fernando de Noronha, an island paradise for divers and ecotourists. Here on this UNESCO Natural Heritage site, tourism is strictly controlled and only a limited number of visitors can dive in pristine waters, kayak with dolphins, and snorkel with turtles.
BTOA’s 19 Allied Members include major airlines serving Brazil such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and TAM Brazilian Airlines, as well as hotel companies, luxury resorts, hotels, and eco-tourism lodges such as Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge; Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro; Colonna Hotels (Buzios, Rio de Janeiro); Costâo do Santinho Resort & Spa in Santa Catarina; Hotel de Lençóis (Bahia); Juma Lodge, Amazonas; Marina Park Hotel in Ceará; Miramar Maragogi Resort in Alagoas; Orient Express Hotels (Rio and Iguassu); Othon Hotels (Bahia, Ceará, Rio, Santa Catarina, São Paulo); Porto Bay Resorts & Hotels (Rio and São Paulo); Pousada Capitao Thomaz in Ceará; SuperClubs Breezes Costa Do Sauipe; and Tiwa Amazonas Eco Resort. Pink Fleet, a cruise company in Rio, and H. Stern Jewelers are also Allied Members of BTOA. Travel Visa Pro is an Affiliate Member.
Membership qualifications are listed in the brochure. North American tour operators must feature Brazil in their brochures and on their web sites and must have been in business for more than three years. Associate Members are Brazilian state tourism offices, convention and visitor bureaus, and municipal and regional tourism authorities who are empowered to promote their destination in North America. Allied Members are airlines, hotel chains, individual hotels and pousadas, cruise lines, transportation companies, entertainment venues, and retail stores.
To order BTOA’s new brochure, travel agents can email [email protected] For more information on the Brazil Tour Operators Association, call 646-722-9901 or go to www.braziltouroperators.org.