Critical Divide to produce World Cup Guide

4 Dec

Due to public demand, as they say, Critical Divide will once again produce a quick and easy guide to the FIFA World Cup.

Critical Divide offered a guide to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil linked to Brazil: The Guide and Rio: The Guide, and over 300,000 people used the guide over the period of the tournament.

What was to be a one off, has now been extended to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the site – World Cup: The Guide – has been full updated – most importantly with the schedule by date, team, venue and even TV. You can also follow on Twitter @WC_Guide_2018

World Cup: The Guide

Brazil: The Guide

Rio: The Guide

Advertisements

Returning to the Critical Divide

7 Aug

With a change in the direction of the wind Christopher Pickard, just like Mary Poppins, has decided that the time has come to move on to the next challenge and in October he will return from the South Atlantic Island of St Helena, where he has been director of tourism since 2015, to the UK and Critical Divide.

Chris has chosen not to extend his contract as director of tourism for St Helena when it ends in late September. In his view St Helena Tourism is now well positioned to handle the arrival of tourists in greater numbers once the scheduled air services begin later in the year from South Africa. The key going forward, he says, is for St Helena and its residents to embrace tourism and the arriving visitors, and offer them the best possible experience at a level that today’s international tourists demand and expect, while keeping true to the island’s rich heritage.

“Since my involvement with St Helena we have, despite the delay to the start of scheduled flights, been able to position the island as an exciting new destination with leading tour operators, the media, and the more adventurous travelling public. St Helena is now much less of a secret than it was when I landed in 2015,” explains Chris. “By the time I leave, St Helena Tourism and the entire Enterprise St Helena team will be prepared for the arrival of visitors by air as we continue to fine tune what the island has to offer and can offer in the future. The next step is to start to close potential sales with the final consumer and the tour operators who have been waiting on the start of air access. I have always believed that it is the Saints themselves who are best suited to this role of selling and promoting the island.”

Chris will continue to watch with interest the developments on St Helena from a tourism and economic development perspective, and he looks forward to catching up with his firends and colleagues from St Helena Tourism at up coming travel shows and events.

Chris Pickard sets sail for St Helena as Director of Tourism

3 Sep

IMG_5868

Christopher Pickard has been appointed as the new Director of Tourism for St Helena. Chris will be on a two-year contract, and will take up his post on arrival at St Helena on 14 October 2015.

Chris will be working with Enterprise St Helena and the Tourist Office and will build on the work already started in expanding, developing and enhancing St Helena’s tourism industry to be on par with best practices globally and for the benefit of the Saint community, the tourism sector and investors alike.

St Helena Rio

Chris said of his appointment:

“The opening of the Airport and start of scheduled flights next year will mark the beginning of what should be a new and very exciting chapter for St Helena. I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen to play my small part in this developing story and will be trying to help St Helena and its residents to build and create a sustainable travel and tourism sector – a sector that should bring very real and tangible benefits to the majority of the Island’s population.

“I look forward to learning about everything that the Island currently offers to its residents and its visitors and, in conversation with Saints, I want to understand how they would like St Helena to develop. By applying my global travel experience and contacts, I will then aim to achieve these objectives through tourism.”

Island Sattelite

Chris is former chairman of the Latin American Travel Association and is a founder and trustee of its charitable foundation. He set up the Brazilian government’s first overseas tourist office, and has been the director of communications for the World Travel & Tourism Council. In his career, including with Critical Divide, he has worked very closely for and with a number of tourist boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotel companies, destinations, as well as tour and ground operators.

He has also written extensively about travel and tourism and has authored and contributed to a number of guidebooks and travel publications.

Lourens-Malan-at-South-West-Point-rocks2

LATA committee for 2015-2016

25 Jun

Following the very successful completion of Experience Latin America by LATA, the new Latin American Travel Association committee voted in at the AGM on 18 June for 2015-16 is Jennifer Beale (Relais & Chateaux); Adam Bowie (Canning House); Max Campos (AirEuropa); Simon Evens (Chimu Adventures); Suzanne Faithfull (Brazilian Chamber of Commerce); Bibiana Garside (HighLives Travel); Becky Harris (Viaventure); Lyn Hughes (Wanderlust); Alex Malcolm (Jacada Travel); Liza Masias (Inkaterra); Wendy McNeill (Americas); Karen Meehan-Bissett (United Airlines); Sara Nozal (Aviacircle); Edward Paine (Last Frontiers); and Byron Shirto (Talking Stick Marketing).

The committee will now elect its four officers (chairman, deputy chairman, treasurer and secretary) at its first meeting on 7 July.

Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard is an ex-chairman of LATA and a trustee of the LATA Foundation.

Rio’s samba school parades in 2016

25 Jun

Beija flor 01

As reported in Critical Divide’s Rio: The Guide the draw has been made for main parades of the major Rio samba schools, the  Grupo Especial. The parades will take place on the nights of Sunday, 7 February and Monday, 8 February 2016. The order will be:

Sunday, 7 February 2016

  • Estácio de Sá
  • União da Ilha
  • Beija-Flor
  • Grande Rio
  • Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel
  • Unidos da Tijuca

Monday, 8 February 2016

  • Vila Isabel
  • Salgueiro
  • São Clemente
  • Portela
  • Imperatriz Leopoldinense
  • Mangueira

Six schools will parade on Sunday night and six on Monday and they will start at 21.30, 22.35, 23.40, 00.45, 01.50 and 02.55.

Based on the results of the last six carnivals (2010-2015), the League of Samba Schools (LIESA) ranks the top ten samba schools in Rio de Janeiro as:

Unidos da Tijuca (95 points)
Beija-Flor (81)
Salgueiro (69)
Unidos de Vila Isabel (53)
Grande Rio (47)
Imperatriz Leopoldinense (34)
Portela (34)
Mangueira (29)
União da Ilha do Governador (17)
Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel (16)

Rio Restaurant listings go live on “Rio: The Guide”

6 May

Azul Marinho 1

The Rio restaurant listings have now gone live on Rio: The Guide, the sister site to Brazil: The Guide, both of which are published by Critical Divide. The restaurants can be found in the Eating Out section of the Rio site, and are also listed by area and type.

There are an estimated 10,000 restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, so we have decided to give you a selection of the best and most interesting in the key areas of town.

We also list what the critics and general public consider to be the best in town.

The Rio site also has a full list of the hotels and hostels on offer in Rio de Janeiro as the city prepares to host the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2016.

Critical Divide at the Panama Film Festival

19 Apr

2015-04-11 14.11.38

Critical Divide traveled to Panama to help Variety with its coverage of the Panama Film Festival, produce four eShow Dailies, and to observe the Summit of the Americas.

To follow is Christopher Pickard’s overview of the festival. You can also read full coverage in the Variety eShow Dailies.

Panama – Variety – eShow Daily 1

Panama – Variety – eShow Daily 2

Panama – Variety – eShow Daily 3

Panama – Variety – eShow Daily 4


 

IFF Panama: Opening the World’s Eyes to Central America

Festival consolidates its position as a regional leader