Prevue November/December 2011 - (Page 54)

Previous: Argentinian polo grounds Below: Hotel Unique, Sao Paulo Located near the financial center, the hotel is a 15-minute drive from Sao Paulo’s airport, located in the exclusive Jardins residential area next to the city’s largest park, Ibirapuera. Spurring on the Latin Boom 2.0, LAN Airlines unveiled a new Meetings & Incentive Department at IMEX 2011 in Las Vegas this fall. The initiative is designed to leverage LAN’s connectivity and knowledge of the continent, while showcasing the many popular destinations, such as Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and the Galapagos. Planners should look for a bevy of new industry programs including site visits, VIP lounge access, priority travel arrangements, etc. AMTOURS DMC Throughout Brazil and beyond, AmTours DMC builds custom group experiences in partnership with Sao Paulo CVB and Sao Paulo Tourism Authority, with a multilingual staff required in the Portuguese-speaking country. “About 75-80% of our operation is centered around custom-built experiences, based on the group’s specific requests,” says Aloisio Mendes, managing director. “Just to give you an idea of a specific tour we are conducting at the moment, we have a group coming to the Amazon and then we’re heading over to Pantanal, which are the marshlands of Brazil. It’s whatever the group asks for.” AmTours also puts together pre/post tours for groups up to 800 attendees in town for conferences and conventions. “If they stay a few extra nights in Sao Paulo, we can take them to Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, the former Brazilian capitals,” Mendes says. “To me, Salvador is one of the most beautiful cities in Brazil—it’s very colonial.” Cruising down the dark waters of the Amazon is another popular request. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle, from toucans perched in the rainforest canopy to crocodiles lurking in the shallows. The company works with Ibero Cruises and several others embarking from Manaus, the largest urban area on the world’s most extensive river basin. Nestled between rivers and massive amounts of rainforest, the bustling city is a hidden treasure—a mix of residential areas, food markets, commercial buildings and humming streets beginning at the river’s edge. Ships range up to 80 cabins, but Mendes says that smaller ones can often make the trip more intimate and approachable for buyouts. Although the company focuses on Brazil for most of their experiences, trips to Argentina, Chile and Peru can also be created. Machu Picchu, the Andes, Mendoza and Chile’s wine lands are a few of the more popular requests. ARGENTINA TRAVEL PARTNERS In Argentina, a group can spend a sunny afternoon harvesting grapes in wine country one day and raft through the frigid waters of the Patagonian Steppe the next. From its people to its geography, Argentina’s abundance of cool cultural experiences is a clear indicator of the country’s dynamism. Argentina Travel Partners DMC (ATPdmc) gives us a glimpse of Argentina’s newest and wildest group experiences. Known for its deep history of polo, Argentina is the ideal spot for groups to test their skills at the “sport of kings.” The town of Pilar is home to Club Polo One, a venue open to both professionals and amateurs, located one hour north of Buenos Aires. The afternoon begins with a brief introduction to the rules of the game while attendees sip champagne and munch on gourmet meats and cheeses. The polo fields can host two long tables for up to 100 guests to enjoy a country-style Argentinian steak barbecue, paired with vino from the country’s vaunted vineyards. After lunch, groups then watch a professional polo match. “All the while, we continue to serve champagne and sweets,” says Ines Gowland, director of ATP. “Overall, it’s quite fancy as an event.” Another popular option is a 90-minute plane ride into the heart of Argentina’s wineries in Mendoza. Here, teams can blend their own wine under the watchful eye of experienced sommeliers. Local chefs will also teach the secret to mastering Argentina’s barbecuing technique, asado, via group cooking demonstrations and classes. ”Today Sao Paulo is a huge market for really everything, not just events.... It is the engine of the Brazilian market.” 50 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue November/December 2011

Planner's Pick: Sheraton Nassau
Planner's Pick: Buenos Aires
Fresh Meets: Park Hyatt
Good Business: Hilton Head
Bureau Buzz: Washington DC/Anaheim/Detroit
On Location: Paws Up, Montana
On Location: The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Meetings + The Muse
Meetings + The Muse
Mexico, Now
Mexico, Now
On Location: Marriott Resorts, Cancun
On Location: Marriott Resorts, Cancun
On Location: Starwood Resorts, Los Cabos
On Location: Starwood Resorts, Los Cabos
The Next Latin Boom
The Next Latin Boom
Barcelona
Barcelona
Queensland
Queensland
On Location: Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado
On Location: Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado

Prevue November/December 2011

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