Carnival returns to Brazil in a new tourist leadership

Embratur, Brazil’s Agency for International Tourism Promotion, announced a new agency chief this week as the country prepares for the post-epidemic recovery of one of its flagship events.

Silvio Nascimento has been named president of Embratur, replacing Carlos Brito, who has been promoted to Brazilian tourism minister. Nascimento was previously director of marketing, intelligence and communication at Embratur.

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Caption: Silvio Nascimento (at the microphone) is the new president of Embratur. (Courtesy of Embratur).

Gilson Machado Neto, who recently served as both president of Embratur and Brazil’s tourism minister, recently left both offices to run for the Senate, officials said in a statement. “Our job is to take care of tourism, people’s happiness, and no country does as much as Brazil,” Neto said. “I leave with confidence in the team we have created at Embratur and the Ministry.”

“We have done our best to represent and share Brazil, its beauties, the unique qualities of our people and our culture, in many promotions and events around the world,” Nascimento said. “We will continue the path we have followed so far.”

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The shifts in tourism direction come as Brazil celebrates reopening the country after pandemic lockdowns. After two years of pandemic-related postponements, traditional Brazilian carnival parades and associated events in Rio and São Paulo will take place from April 20 and continue through May 1, Embratur officials said.

The world-famous traditional Rio Carnival will feature parades of samba schools at the Marquês de Sapucaí on April 20 and 21. Sapucaí will host a parade of champions on April 30 with the presentation of the six highest ranked schools in the special group.

On April 16 in São Paulo, the first samba school will parade on the Passarela do Samba do Anhembi. The presentations of the 14 samba schools of the special group of São Paulo will begin on April 22 and the parades of champions will take place on April 29.

Events will take place under Covid-19 health and safety protocols, including a vaccination passport requirement for all public attendees. Additionally, occupancy is limited to a maximum of 70% of public capacity in all areas and parade marchers must be pre-registered. Walkers and spectators are required to wear masks and the number of components used by each samba school will be reduced.

“In addition to its historical and cultural significance, [Carnival] is also an incredible economic booster, which generates direct and indirect jobs,” Brito said in a statement earlier this month. “We expect this impact to be reflected in the purchase of airline tickets, the booking of rooms, the rental of cars [and] restaurant reservations.

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