Adenauer Goes, Presidente Paratur / Governo do Para with Ester Weiss, Director Globe Travel / The Brazilian Travel Centre @ ABAV 2011
Copacabana Beachfront – New Cafes and lifeguard stations
Brazil’s national cocktail – The Caipirinha
Capoeira an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines martial arts, music and dance
Ester Weiss Director of the Brazilian Travel Centre met with e-Travel Blackboard to discuss the challenges faced selling a destination that is both exotic and dangerous. How do you convince Australians that a trip to Brazil is safe and alleviate the many concerns people have about travelling there?
Drugs, violence, slums and corruption are all part of Brazil’s reputation but we discovered that Brazil has a normal side and it’s not all “law of the jungle” in this southern continent.
Ester has run Globe Travel, the parent company of the Brazilian Travel Centre, for over 20 years based in Melbourne. She’s a Rio local, or Carioca as they call themselves, and she wanted to explain to us why people should come to Brazil. We talked about Rio de Janeiro, her home town, and how to experience all that this wonderful city has to offer.
There are many reasons to go to Rio she explained; Go for the beach, the world famous sights or the people. Carnival is popular and Samba music, synonymous with Carnival, is a major draw card. We have access to seats in the Sambodromo (Avenue where the parade is held) or we can get you into full costume to dance in the Samba parade itself.
Copacabana is the most famous and safest place to stay, especially along the beachfront, where all the hotels have cameras on their roofs. Your first choice for a hotel should be Copacabana between post three and six (middle to south). My second suggestion is Ipanema, then Leblon, and if you need to be near the city or domestic airport choose Flamengo or Botafogo which lie between Centro and the coast. There’s no need to be further out because of the expense using taxis daily.
Some areas are outright dangerous or undesirable especially for couples or families with children. North Copacabana backs onto a Favela, so does South of Leblon and north Rio. Shanty towns, or communities, as they’re more commonly called today are everywhere in Rio so the possibility of being accosted by an opportunistic individual, thief or prostitute is real. Sometimes clients say they can get cheaper hotels but Ester warned to be careful booking these as the rate maybe by the hour.
You don’t have to be afraid in Rio you just have to be cautious. Copacabana is quite safe because there are more tourist police in this area than anywhere else in Rio. They keep an eye on everyone especially the senior citizens in this area. Copacabana has a lot of old money.
Ester says that in general Brazilian’s are friendly, polite and respectful people and if you treat them the same that’s how they’ll treat you. There are many interesting, educated, travelled people with money just like in Australia, but because of the poverty, the extremes are vast so keep aware of who’s nearby and your surroundings. The posts or life guard stations at each division of Copacabana are also police. Go to them if you’re in trouble. Alternatively if you’re feeling unsafe go into one of the hotels and talk to security. They’ll more than likely come and help you. People in Rio are very helpful especially for tourists. They know that they need to as it’s their source of income.
Click here to read part 2
Contact Ester the “Carioca” Queen of Rio travel.
Globe Travel – The Brazilian Travel Centre
1300 132 636
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: R.M