For two weeks, we immersed ourselves in Rio’s tourism industry, visiting well-known attractions including Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Copacabana and Ipanema. As part of our research, we also toured the favelas of Rocinha, Complexo do Alemao, Santa Marta, Pavão Pavãozinho and Cantagalo. These experiences helped us understand the options available to tourists and how Favela Xperience owner Gabriel Abreu could differentiate his business.
Gabriel founded his tourism company five years ago to connect his community with the rest of the world. By sharing the vibrant culture of his favelas through community tours, he is able to help build relationships between residents and tourists. In addition to its primary tourism business, the company provides access to educational opportunities – primarily English classes for children living in the favelas. Our team’s recommendations addressed both aspects of the company: marketing the tourism business and enhancing educational development strategies for the social impact initiative.
Partnering with Gabriel, our team designed a new company brand, “Favela Connection,” complete with a new logo and promotional materials to boost traffic to the company’s website. We also formulated a new business plan to outline the goals and drivers of the business and provided Gabriel with a fully-detailed plan for implementing these recommendations over a 13-month period.
We also developed an organizational plan and new brand, “Pavão Acima,” for the company’s social impact initiative. Pavão is the name of Gabriel’s community, and “Pavão Acima” translates to “Peacock Rising.”
For years, Gabriel has conducted English classes for children living in the favelas. Our team’s recommendations included developing partnerships with other like-minded organizations in Brazil and processes to manage volunteers. These recommendations will bring enhanced structure and growth to the initiative, and ultimately increase its impact on the community.
Our final presentation took place in Gabriel’s house – a very fitting setting, given that it’s also home to the English classes offered through his company. Gabriel was extremely pleased with the results of our project and gave our team top marks on his client assessment survey.
We are proud to know that the impact of our work will be felt throughout Gabriel’s community for many years to come.
By Márcia Macedo (UNISINOS University), marketing officer – Team Favela X-Factor