Senior Travel in Brazil

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On Friday I mentioned Brazil's new Viaja Mais - Melhor Idade (Travel More! - the Best Age). So far I have seen nothing official in English so here's a preview until the site gets going at www.viajamais.com.br.

The project is a nationwide campaign involving 15 cities chosen by the Ministry of Tourism. The target population is travelers 60 and over but early signs are that planners are Boomer savvy. Domestic as well as international travelers are expected to benefit. In an innovative bid for the domestic market the Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal offer credit allowing payment plans to encourage travel.

Typical of mainstream marketing practice accessibility for people with disabilities is not highlighted. One can only hope that, with Brazil's pool of accomplished and innovative marketing professionals, they will invent new best practices for subtly portraying us in advertisement, provide the types of travel information that we need in formats that are fully accessible, and provide training for the travel industry service sector.

But it is not necessary to simply hope that we will be represented. Madalena Nobre has been contracted as one of the project trainers. With her long experience in Brazilian disability issues, policy, and the tourism sector she has the knowledge -- and the professional network of colleagues -- necessary to move Brazil into a world-class inclusive destination.

Brazilian Alexandre Kalache, formerly of the World Health Organization, has retired after launching WHO's Global Age-Friendly Cities Program. Rumor has it that his retirement plans include establishing a foundation in Brazil to continue Inclusive Destination development type work.

It is not a rumor, but rather a fact flying below the media radar, that Instituto Inter-Americano sobre Deficiência & Desenvolvimento Inclusivo is planning an international conference on Inclusive Travel in Brazil for 2008 - but we'll let that continue to germinate quietly until we - er, they - also get the web site up.

Further reading on Viaja Mais (Note: site not live yet as of this posting):

www.viajamais.com.br

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