Marcos Junior Oliveira is a journalist from Minas Gerais and the public relations person in Brazil from Curaçao, since 2016. Furthermore, together with his agency, Redescobrindo Ideias & Eventos, he works with destinations such as: Wallonia (Belgium), Egypt, Jamaica, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Slovenia and Nevada (US). In Brazil, he works with Atibaia and Guarulhos, in São Paulo, and Amapá.
He is present at ABAV SP to promote Curaçao with the Government of Minas Gerais, which welcomed the announcement of the flight to the island country with Azul Linhas Aéreas, among other actions that will take place between the southeastern Brazilian state and the Caribbean country. .
During ABAV Expo, a cocktail created for the 1st International Festival of Contemporary Mining Cuisine – Caipiblue, is served, which contains the ingredients of cachaça from Minas Gerais with Curaçao Blue, the official drink of the gastronomic festival that took place between the 1st and 3rd of September in Belo Horizonte.
The Azul flight opened on June 24th, leaving Confins International Airport on Saturdays and returning on Sundays. It has capacity for 174 passengers, and there are connections in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília.
Curaçao is present in partnerships with the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Azul Linhas Aéreas at the 50°ABAV Expo. What are the identities between the two countries?
Marcos Oliveira: They are very close, a very similar colonization. Brazil with Portugal and them with the Netherlands. A warm and sunny climate, a gastronomy with common dishes such as tutu and chicken with okra. In addition to these aspects, Brazil adds more to Curaçao through biodiversity, especially with the Amazon and rivers, as Curaçao does not have forests or rivers.
Minas Gerais is one of the most creative Brazilian states in gastronomy. At the International Festival of Contemporary Cuisine in Minas Gerais, it was the guest country at the event. Which Curaçao cuisine dishes surprise tourists?
Marcos Oliveira: In Curaçao, I believe the Keshi Yena, made with golda cheese with chicken, vegetables and raisins. In addition to this, there is tutu, with beans and flour, Guiambu, chicken with okra and kadushi soup, which is something more exotic, as kadushi is cactus. A local delicacy is iguana meat which is also served in some restaurants.
Which celebrities and influencers took off from Azul to the island with its turquoise sea? What do you hear from these most interesting people?
Marcos Oliveira: There were still few celebrities from Azul, as the flight allows you to stay on the island for 9 days. Among the influencers who were recently there are Cesar from @cesarporai, Juliana Alvarenga from @triopartiu and representatives from @viajeporconta, @pretademais, @melhoresdestinos and @passageirodeprimeira
What is it like to be a PR in Curaçao in Brazil? What are the market trends?
Marcos Oliveira: It's a constant pleasure, as the work is neither routine nor repetitive, that is, we are constantly changing, as guest profiles constantly change. I always have to invite vehicles, blogs and celebrities to visit the island. Additionally, I do a lot of experiential events in big cities to strengthen the destination's image. Associated with my work, there is a whole plan with the trade to sustain the interest generated by this content producing audience
If you were a travel agent, what itinerary in Curaçao would you do for a group of college friends who are celebrating 10 years of graduation, all married with children?
Marcos Oliveira: Wow. From this perspective I would suggest a tour to Klein Curaçao, accommodation at Sandals Royal Curaçao (adults only) and Papagayo Beach Hotel, experiences such as SeaBob and Aquafari, as well as a tour of bars and restaurants in the district bohemian of Pietermaai.
Does Curaçao welcome mini-weedings?
Marcos Oliveira: Yes. The island has suppliers that already cater to many wedding and ceremony formats. Many resorts even created specific sectors to meet the great demand that emerged post-pandemic. In 2022, we participated in the Casar exhibition and it was a success and generated a lot of demand for the island.
Did Curaçao participate in the 50°ABAV Expo?
Marcos Oliveira: Not physically with your own stand. We participated in an action inside the Minas Gerais stand, a presentation of the CaipiBlue cocktail, recently created for the festival of the same name in Belo Horizonte. Furthermore, Janaina Araújo, representative of Curaçao in Brazil, participated in meetings with players and partners such as Azul and operators.
How many Brazilians have visited Curaçao since the debut of the Flight with Azul Linhas Aéreas?
Marcos Oliveira: We still haven't finalized the exact numbers of those who arrived with Azul, but they exceed two thousand. From January to August this year, more than 13,000 arrived, breaking the 2019 record of 13,200.
Interview and photos: Mary de Aquino.