Event destination feature: South America
In the events industry, South America is a somewhat divergent destination, yet possesses an exciting and instantly recognisable culture. Known for its distinctive fashion, cuisine and stunning scenery, it is a continent filled with natural beauty and historical value.
Working well for both business and pleasure, it is a continent brimming with virtuous personality, breath-taking views and incredible climates – three ingredients that contribute towards an outstanding successful event destination for incentives or conferences.
Two of our fabulous events team recently visited Brazil and Peru, a pair of beautiful South American countries that have incredible potential for business events. We caught up with them to find out what they thought of these locations as prospective event destinations.
Urban Brazilian culture
More recently than not, brazil has gone from underdog to a desirable event destination. After hosting the world cup and olympics, tourism in this vibrant and colourful country is at an all-time high. Its capital city alone, Rio de Janeiro, is a treasure chest of iconic attractions and rich culture including; christ the redeemer, Rio carnival, and sugar loaf mountain.
First event senior account manager, emily harper, explored brazil to find out what it can offer to businesses looking to hold an incredible conference or incentive event:
‘Brazil has everything - rainforests, stunning scenery, great food, interesting culture, and wonders of the world.
Rio de Janeiro lies between mountains and the sea and is renowned for its stunning geography and luscious tropical vegetation and climate. On the coast is a series of curving bays and beaches including; Copacabana, Ipanema, flamingo, and Leblon. Here you can find the best hotels, restaurants and nightlife.
Sugar loaf mountain and christ the redeemer are must-see! There are great conference facilities around but the amazing sites mean it would work just as well for incentive trips - you are also in close proximity to do a dual night incentive to include Iguazu falls.’
As Emily discovered, along with offering fantastic facilities in magnificent cities, brazil is an event destination that provides endless opportunities for trip extensions due to its desirable offering of exotic traditional excursions and activities. Recent popularity has made it an easily accessible location worldwide, meaning that for anyone who would like to extend their trip… the world is their oyster!
Situated to the west of south America is Peru, a relatively undiscovered country benefitting from sitting on the pacific coast, whilst embracing its historical charm through ancient buildings and stunning culture. Our operations director Dawn Mitchell visited Peru to find out more about the vibrancy of south America and its rich cultural history.
Bordering Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, this country’s selling point is the incredible Inca trail to Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic hiking trails in the world. On top of possessing a diverse range of cultural monuments, Peru exudes timeless charisma through its magnificent scenery, with 60% of the entire country being occupied by amazonian rainforest. Lima (both the capital and largest city in Peru) boasts a mixture of architectural styles and is the perfect host city for a conference. Followed up with an incentive trip across the country to take the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, event participants have the opportunity to experience rich Peruvian culture and stunning natural scenery.
‘people want to be where people want to be. Popularity and trend plays a huge part in the decisions we make on an event destination. An indication of imminent and advancing incentive locations can be determined by a wide range of factors, such as new airline routes and currency exchange rates. So, as you can imagine, always being on the ball and in the know is important for us. When we heard that ba had begun direct flights to Peru from London, we jumped at the chance to organise a site visit to see what it had to offer.’
South America seems to be proving just as desirable an event destination as its sister continent North America, with countries such as Brazil and Peru generating a lot of attention from events companies and travellers alike. The importance of industry trends is something dawn always takes into consideration when deciding on possible event destinations:
‘there’s a lot of reasons behind why we’d suggest Peru as an event destination for business clients. It’s not a stereotypical place for people to travel alone, and after all, incentive trips should offer a unique experience for attendees to remember and treasure. The events industry has changed because travel is now more accessible than it ever has been, so people are generally quite well traveled. We have to be more creative to ensure that our trips offer the wow factor.’
-- Dawn Mitchell, operations director