Americans make exotic impression

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 June, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 June, 1993, 12:00am

HONGKONG will get an exotic taste of Brazil at the InterTour '93 opening ceremony when one of the nation's top Samba groups struts its stuff.

The group, consisting of 10 dancers, will be flown into the territory by Varig Brazilian Airlines.

It will perform throughout InterTour.

The dancers are part of the South American pavilion.

Top hoteliers, tour operators, and representatives of the state tourist authorities from Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Peru will occupy 18 booths, making up the second largest pavilion after China.

This is the first time that most of these organisations have taken part in InterTour.

The show of force this year is because Varig began operating twice-weekly direct flights to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

This has opened up a whole new market between South America and Hongkong.

''South America is very interested in Asian travellers from Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, mainland China and Hongkong,'' said Varig's area general manager, Rino Vitale.

''Our delegates are hoping to meet up with major sellers from these countries. It is a lot easier to get to South America now, and we need to tell travel agents what is available.'' Flights to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro connect with other cities in South America.

Representatives from leading hotels such as the Rio International Copacabana, Libertador Cuzco in Peru, and Argentina's Llau-Llau Hotels and Resorts will be at InterTour.

South America Tours, Condor Travel, both from Brazil, and HRC Tour operator from Chile will have booths.

Apart from the novelty of South America to many Asians as a travel destination, the countries have much to offer.

Brazil is renowned for its world famous beaches, and shopping and nightlife in some of the world's most exciting cities.

The Amazon also features as a tourist destination.

Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital, is the cultural centre of South America. Chile has some stunning landscapes; while Peru houses the mysteries of the Incas.

Trade is also increasing between the regions.

Hongkong exports manufactured goods, textiles, watches and clocks and re-exports goods from Taiwan to South America.

Brazil sells raw leather and frozen foods to Hongkong.

Varig has only recently begun flights to Brazil and is targeting travellers all over Asia, so its Hongkong staff are kept busy attending shows throughout the region.

Earlier this year, they visited Beijing and, after InterTour, will be travelling to Taipei.

''To get to the travel trade is very important to the airline,'' said Mr Vitale.

''We are building an awareness among travel agents, and are also updating them on new package tours.

''We have put a lot of resources and effort into this show.

''It is the first time that many of the South American exhibitors have been to Asia and I am confident that the show will produce business and give a number of strong leads in this market place.''