“Catch the Brazilian Wave Now”

3 October 2003

SINGAPORE - There is no better time than now for Asian destinations to tap the Brazilian and South American markets, says Eduardo Bocchino, director of no limits travel co in Rio de Janeiro.

Firstly, visa procedures to the US have become a hassle and the US, the top destination for Brazilians, is losing market share.

Secondly, Europe, another favourite destination, is getting expensive due to the strong Euro and flights are constantly full across the continents.

Thirdly, Brazilians are well-educated and well-informed about the world, "not like the Americans", said Bocchino.

"We know more about the world and we don't fear things that are not real," he said.

"For example, the problems in the south of the Philippines, we know that's nothing."

In recent years, he said Asia had lost market share in the Brazilian market due to loss of flights and lack of destination marketing activity.

"No one is promoting in Brazil, not even PATA, and Asia has lost out to places such as Maldives, Mauritius, Caribbean and Mexico."

Malaysia, he said, was the only destination promoting "in a small way" in Brazil. "I help connect them with tour operators who want to sell Malaysia."

Bocchino, who is one of three Brazilian buyers at the mart, said he had been investing in the Asian market for five years and despite the challenges, believes in its longterm potential.

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