A Decade of “Brazil the Guide”

10 years ago in April 2012 we launched a labour of love, www.braziltheguide.com, which was followed two years later – in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup – by the much more complete www.riotheguide.com

The reason we launched the sites was that we were and still do get consulted about Rio and Brazil on a weekly basis and this seemed an easier way of telling people where to find the information and share it. We were also often asked when we would update “The Insider’s Guide to Rio de Janeiro”, last published in print form in 1995, and the web sites seemed the obvious answer. #brazil #riodejaneiro

Ronnie Biggs’ Rio: No One is Innocent: Documentary

Business Doc Europe’s coverage of our Ronald Biggs documentary “Ronnie Biggs’ Rio: No One is Innocent” that we are currently making with TvZero and Canal Brasil for broadcast in 2023, the 60th anniversary of the “Great Train Robbery”.

Read Here

Cannes @ 75: 20 September 1936-2021

Critical Divides wishes Festival de Cannes and everyone involved with it over the years, all the very best on the 75th anniversary of the start of the very first festival on 20 September 1946.

The festival had been due to start in September 1939, but the outbreak of World War II closed the festival before it opened. Seven years later the 1946 festival ran from 20 September to 5 October and the festivities started in the gardens of the original Grand Hôtel by the American singer Grace Moore singing “La Marseillaise”.

It was said at the time that Cannes offered: “The finest films in the world presented in the finest setting in the world”. That spirit remains true 75 years on.

In 1951 the festival moved to its spring date that we now all know so well, and in May 2022 the actual 75th festival will take place and the celebrations can begin.

A celebration of 75 years of the best of cinema, glamour, business and more that is to be told in the film “Cannes Uncut”.

Joyeux 75e anniversaire.

13th Brazilian Convention & Visitors Bureau Congress

The 13th Brazilian Convention & Visitors Bureau Congress will bring the Brazilian travel and tourism industry and authorities together over two days on 17 and 18 June 2021 (via video conferencing) to look at the challenges facing the industry as it works to reset itself post pandemic. 

While domestic tourism has held up quite well in Brazil over the past 18 months, when allowed to operate, international visitors have been very limited as travel between Brazil and rest of the world has been severely restricted and continues to be so.

The conference, organised by the Brasil Convention & Visitors Bureaux (BC&VB), will emphasise the growing importance of tourism to many areas of Brazil, and look at the challenges to be faced by the accommodation and aviation sectors post pandemic, flights being of key importance to a country the size of Brazil. Sustainable transport is on the agenda, and the participants will also hear about the current global situation for travel and tourism and how other destinations are looking to re-launch and open when it is safe to do so.

Via the magic of Zoom Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard has the honour of giving his view of world events in a presentation entitled “O Mercado Global de Turismo – um olhar na realidade.” (The Global Tourism Market: A Reality Check).

Brazil – COVID-19 – Carnival 2021

As in many countries, COVID-19 has had a major and disruptive impact on life in Brazil and in Rio de Janeiro.

Given the size of the population, and the country, Brazil has had one of the highest number of COVID cases and deaths in the world after the US, and access to and around the country has been restricted. As a result a number of hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, attractions, and even beaches, have been closed or offer limit access. So please check before you plan a visit to Brazil or Rio for leisure purposes. We are trying to update our sites at Rio: The Guide and Brazil: The Guide just as soon as it is clear which businesses have re-opened and survived.

It also looks as if there will be major disruption to Rio’s carnival in 2021 with few or none of the major parades and group activities taking place.  If you want to truly experience carnival in Rio, or any other part of Brazil, you will be better to wait until 2022. 

Great Train Robbery Exhibition – Postal Museum – London

A new “Great Train Robbery” exhibition opened 11 October at the Postal Museum in London and will run through until April 2020.

For more information CLICK HERE

At the exhibition you will be able to buy copies of Ronnie Biggs’ autobiography “Odd Man Out: The Last Straw” as well as the special 50th anniversary “Great Train Robbery” bookazine produced by Nick Reynolds and Chris Pickard, with a little help and input from Bruce Reynolds and Biggs.  Both books benefitted from the publishing expertise of Critical Divide and Calm Productions. You can also find both books on Amazon.

 

Chris Pickard elected chair of the Anglo-Brazilian Society

Critical Divide’s, Chris Pickard, has been invited and elected to chair the Anglo-Brazilian Society.

The Society was established in London back in 1943 to help to promote close and friendly relations between Brazil and Britain and to increase Britain’s knowledge of Brazil and its culture. The Society, which is based in the Embassy of Brazil in London, is a registered UK charity that is passionately committed to raising funds for worthwhile Brazilian projects, especially those that address the needs of underprivileged children and their families.

Chris also currently chairs the LATA Foundation, but will stand down at the AGM in September after ten years as a founding trustee and two as chair.

You can read more about and follow the activities of the Anglo-Brazilian Society on its website, Facebook or on Twitter @anglobrazsoc

LATA Palace of Westminster Reception 2019

The annual All Party Parliamentary Group for Latin America and the Latin American Travel Association (LATA), held its annual reception in the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday, 12 March 2019.

Sir Alan Duncan

Sir Alan Duncan, the Minister at the FCO responsible for the Latin American region, who had come straight from the Brexit vote in the House of Commons, made a very entertaining speech; Hilary Bradt MBE (Bradt Guides) was inducted into the LATA Hall of Fame; and Claire Wilcox, was recognised with LATA’s ‘Special Recognition Award 2019’ for her role as co-curator of the landmark exhibition ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ at the V&A. Mark Menzies MP, chair of the All Party Group, and Colin Stewart, the LATA chair, were the hosts, for the evening.

Hilary Bradt & Colin Stewart

Claire Wilcox of the V&A and Colin Stewart

On presenting the awards Colin said: “At LATA, we are honoured to recognise the contribution of Hilary Bradt and Claire Wilcox for driving public awareness and interest in the LATAM region. Their contribution has had a significant part to play in the recent growth and success of the region and we are delighted to be able to recognise these achievements.”

Chris Pickard

LATA Foundation chairman, Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard, had the opportunity to update members of the Lords, Commons, and LATA, as well as the Latin American diplomatic community in London, on the Foundation’s recent activities, including the support in 2019 of core projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa, Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Honduras, Panama and Peru. Chris also name checked and thanked many of the companies present for their support of the LATA Foundation that had allowed it over the past decade to touch and change for the better the lives of thousands of people in just about every country and corner of Latin America.

Ending by quoting from Monty Python’s “The Bright Side of Life”, Chris said he hoped that the  LATA Foundation could continue to help people less fortunate in Latin America to be able to “laugh and smile and dance and sing” again.

The Latin American Travel Association is a membership organisation that promotes sustainable travel to the region. The membership is made up of tourist boards, airlines, hoteliers, tour operators, local tour companies, lodges & other travel and tourism related entities that operate to and around Latin America.