With the World Cup in full swing, BI WORLDWIDE’s man on the side-line, Philip Haines, exclusively shares his journey on what it is like to be in Brazil at this once in a lifetime moment in time.
“Unless you are a football fanatic, you may not be aware that there is a lot of travelling involved if you wish to see a good selection of the World Cup matches live in Brazil.
After a year of planning the trip, my friends and I arrived in Refugio da Ilha, Pantanal, Brazil on June 3, and since then we have travelled to Natal and Recife where we have watched various games such as Mexico v Cameroon, Ivory Coast v Japan, Ghana v USA, Japan v Greece, and Italy v Costa Rica.
With each game we’ve attended, our understanding of the culture has improved greatly; we now have a much better understanding of how to use the entry systems, how long it takes us to get about, what food to purchase and where to park.
We have noticed a few logistical issues, highlighting the lack of experience hosting such a massive event. Major travel hubs have been extended in line with the event, but lack of experience or attention has meant that they are not functioning in a way to assist with the incredible influx of fans.
On occasion at some grounds, premium ticket buyers were not awarded preferential entry or fast tracking which meant that their experience wasn’t that much different compared to standard ticket buyers. For those expecting VIP treatment, corporate hospitality is not to the standards we have come to expect and the food wasn’t up to scratch. However, these issues are being addressed and improved with each game we’ve attended.
So far, my experience in Brazil has been fantastic. The weather has been hot, gorgeous yet scary with sudden and dramatic torrential rains. England's failure to progress to the knock out stages didn’t bother us as we never let 90, or 180 minutes in this case, spoil a good day out. In fact we're positively looking forward to the long drive to the Costa Rica v England game this afternoon as another opportunity to see Costa Rica play.
The atmosphere at each match is incredible; the Brazilians are enthusiastic and wonderful people. Everywhere you go there is a mix of cultures and nationalities all of which are very friendly and helpful. We will be attending our last match on Wednesday in Rio and then returning back to England on Monday.”
More about Philip Haines…
Philip Haines has 40 years management experience in events and tourism.
- Founding, running and selling an event management software company.
- Buying, managing and selling a tourism technology company.
- GM of an international reservation management systems company.
- Financial and IT management of a travel group including a tour operator and event management company.
- Live event and concert promotion.
- Management consultancy to government, private sector and associations.
- Director of a professional services benchmarking company.
Philip is a Fellow of The Tourism Society, a regular speaker at conferences worldwide, and a former Advisory Council member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association.