The Pace University travel documentary team split its second day on IIha Grande between a visit to the extraordinary and unspoiled Lopez Mendes Beach on the Atlantic coast of the 140-square-mile island and a series of interviews with business owners back in the busy resort town.
One of the most interesting interview subjects was Rennie Jackson, an Australian expatriate who owns Aratinga Inn, a charming pousada on a quiet back lane. She’s devoted to running the inn with the fewest possible environmental impacts, even making laundry detergent by boiling used bars of soap. She said the 2014 World Cup in Rio this June was having a widespread impact despite the distance from Rio to this remote island. Her inn was fully booked for the soccer championship season a year ago.
We later interviewed Professor Luiz Felipe Guanaes Rego, a geographer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, who described various instances in which Brazil was trying, with mixed success, to harmonize economic development with the needs of local communities and the environment.
Angelo Da Silva Alves, who works for Avant Tour, which operates a fleet of schooner-style tourist boats around the island, expressed his love for tourism and said he believed it came with more positive impacts than problems.