Sapucaí, in 2021, will be silent during the carnival. With the festivities postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic, party in Rio de Janeiro, the most famous in the world, it loses tourists, taxes and the livelihood of communities in Rio de Janeiro where the carnival takes place all year long: from preparation to holidays.
The city of Rio would be preparing to receive people from Brazil and the world during the next few days, but it will have a different carnival. THE Airbnb is helping to mitigate the effects of that difference. The company, which offers experiences that can be acquired by tourists since 2017, has transposed to digital a series of scripts and activities that can be acquired on the platform.
The packages to enjoy the carnival on Airbnb are featured on the platform by the end of February and can be purchased from R $ 15. They are offered by giant partners, such as school Academicians from Grande Rio, and there are options from samba classes to percussion workshops.
According to Flavia Matos, director of public policies for Airbnb in Latin America, the initiative is part of the company’s commitment to tourism. “Carnival is very emblematic, there is a community that lives on it, with an economic and emotional impact. In November and another, generally, these people were already full of work in the sheds ”, he said. In 2019, before the pandemic, Airbnb generated an economic impact of 10.5 billion reais, considering guest expenses and tourism in Brazil. The company did not share data from last year.
The executive says that, unlike other experiences, Airbnb himself got in touch to bring the experiences to the platform. “The main objective is to benefit the communities and bring some financial support and they can bring joy,” said Matos.
According to Camila Soares, president of Pimpolhos da Grande Rio, a youth samba school and a non-governmental organization that offers education and training programs for the Duque de Caxias community, Pimpolhos has been offering carnival experiences on Airbnb since 2017. The focus always it was international tourism, which went to zero with the arrival of the pandemic.
Since December 2020, experiences have been offered on the platform and the current challenge is to climb the ranking and figure in the top positions. Pimpolhos has invested in dissemination strategies, but although it finds demand outside the country, in large companies or in groups, it is still very difficult to make Brazilians consume the experiences made here.
“We understand that it is a product that has potential, if it happens continuously. It has the capacity to continue with the carnival experience, which emerged as a social business ”, says Soares, who believes that virtual tours are important for maintaining the project and that the model is here to stay, especially with the uncertainties of when physical tourism may return.
Pimpolhos adapted the entire infrastructure to accommodate the format, from guides to the transmission of videos, camera position and light, to generate a more genuine and more impactful experience. Even instruments and the colors of the carnival were adapted, thinking about what is common in people’s homes, so that they can have a greater immersion.
The goal now is also to reach more national audiences, which still have little interaction with virtual tourism. “Carnival is not only in February, for us it is the whole year. We never stop, “says Soares, who reiterates:” We want to speak Portuguese on tours, not just English “.