New Zealand Embassy Brasilia, Brazil

Ambassador McAlister co-hosts tourism promotion event in Curitiba for local travel agencies

Speech to Kangaroo Tours cocktail
Hotel Pestana, Curitiba, Wednesday 10 October 2012

It’s a great pleasure to be supporting Kangaroo Tours’ roadshow again this year, especially in this beautiful city of Curitiba which like my country New Zealand has a proud tradition of receiving tourists. I am pleased too New Zealand and Australia are again working closely together on promoting our tourism products in Brazil where we can definitely complement one another.

Brazilian tourists are very welcome in New Zealand and many Brazilians I have met tell me about the great times they have had visiting our country. I know though that despite the scenic and city wonders of New Zealand and Australia, there are challenges in getting more Brazilians to visit our part of the world.

You all are doing a tremendous job of promotion with more limited resources than our main competitors in Brazil, including new exotic destinations that have taken off in the last two years. I want you to know that my Government applauds your efforts and we are ready to support you where we can.

The key to growing this market in my view is a direct air service between New Zealand and Brazil. The New Zealand Government is doing what it can to facilitate this. I am pleased to report that negotiations for a more liberal air services agreement between our two countries are progressing well. We should be looking more at the linkages between tourism and education services. In Brazil there is a high degree of overlap between the two markets. My Government is developing a new ‘New Zealand Story’ that will enhance this cross-sector branding.

We also need to make the most of opportunities to boost our profile such as the launch of The Hobbit in December. I’m sure with all of the forests and waterfalls in this state of Paraná there must be plenty of aspiring goblins and elves wanting to visit Middle Earth.

I would like to thank the New Zealand participants tonight in particular for making the effort to visit Brazil, and of course Craig and his team at Kangaroo Tours for making this event possible.

Please enjoy the New Zealand wine.

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