The Ceará Aquarium will be ready in December 2015, said Tourism Secretary Bismarck Maia. The final schedule of the work was presented by ICM Reynolds, the American company responsible for the construction.
The equipment was also on the agenda of the meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Brazil, Liliana Ayalde, in which the two parties discussed the issue of the loan U.S. Exports Import (Ex-Im) Bank. "We waited during the following days for the draft contract. This was discussed with the ambassador." Fourteen containers for the construction of the aquarium are scheduled to arrive on Saturday. Sent from the United States, they should have been received last Tuesday, but there was a delay in the passage of the ship through Trinidad and Tobago.
As Secretary Bismarck confirmed, with a share of the state’s own resources, it can delay the work until September. "Later this year we will be able to construct the building. The work is irreversible. The ECA (State Court of Auditors) already understands that," he says referring to the questions raised by the agency.
The Aquarium was one of the attractions that was featured during the launch of the new Fortaleza-Buenos Aires flight, announced yesterday in the Argentine capital. The beginning of the weekly route from Gol Airlines will promote tourism in the state of Ceará for Brazil’s neighboring country of Argentina.
According to the Secretary, the State will invest R $ 600 thousand in the next four months in the construction of the aquarium, which will be reinforced by Gol. "This attraction will launch a tourism campaign in airplanes and airports." He further explains that the new flight connection to Fortaleza will be promoted by Argentine celebrities. "People that are successful with social networks can tweet and post about the state of Ceará and its many attractions."
According to Hejeij Diego, commercial manager of Gol Airlines in Argentina, the average occupancy rate for the flight in May is at 65%. And to promote the new route, one of the initiatives of Gol is to lower the fare. "The tax incentive provided by the state of Ceará (exemption of fuel) allows us to practice a more competitive rate." He says that having an attractive price is essential to compete with the Caribbean, who will compete with Ceará for Argentine tourists. The trip from Buenos Aires-Fortaleza costs on average £2000.
Diego also stresses the fact that the new route be the only direct flight between northeastern Brazil and Argentina. "We have 77 frequent trips between Brazil and Argentina, but this is the first in the Northeast." He says he believes that Fortaleza will be the hub, a kind of distribution center of passengers, in the Northeast region.
The Fortaleza-Buenos Aires flight was developed due to the tax incentives offered by the region. The airline that operates any direct international flight from Fortaleza will have a reduced rate of aviation fuel purchased in Ceará - from 30% to 12% - for all flights, including domestic.
The policy also attracted direct flights to Bogota (Avianca), Miami (TAM) and Frankfurt (Condor). The Gol flight will be the first to begin operations. As part of the promotion of Ceará tourism in Argentina, a group of 12 Argentine journalists will arrive in Fortaleza today.
Do you think more tourism to Northeast Brazil will add to or detract from the region's development?
Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.
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