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António Paraíso

studied International Trade in London and Luxury Brand Management in Madrid. He completed his Master of Business Administration in Portugal and after that worked in various places throughout the globe. After a long career in International Business in big companies, António started his own business in consulting, training executives, business school teaching and public speaking at company events. Throughout the years he has developed expertise in luxury marketing, sales, innovation and international trade. Today he is sharing with us his vast travel experience as a business speaker and brand consultant:

Thank you so much for being with us today! First of all, please let us know how traveling is and was related to your career.
Traveling has always been part of my life and career. Quite early I started flying to London to go to school and later to Madrid, too. Then I worked as International Sales Manager for about 19 years and had to travel worldwide every 2 weeks to visit clients and negotiate agreements. Nowadays, in my activity as public speaker I keep flying mainly to Asia and Latin America to speak at company events.

Throughout your career you have visited 45 countries on 5 continents – that’s very impressive! Which places are your favorites and why?
This is difficult to choose. Rio de Janeiro is so beautiful. Natural beauty. Paris is classy and gorgeous. Man-made beauty. Istanbul and New York are so vibrant. The former because of the local culture and the latter for the lifestyle. Madrid, Porto and Sydney are cool and great to live. I like the history of Singapore and Mexico. And that makes the stays over there even more meaningful. I like reading about the history of the country I visit.
And Italy. This country from north to south is the paradigm of classy beauty and elegant taste. And many more places I have been and can’t remember right now. The world is beautiful.

As a passionate traveler – do you have a travel motto?
Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
This motto is not originally mine, but I have adopted it. It is so true.

Surely throughout the years you have developed your own way of traveling. What’s important to you when you travel?
Well, safety most of all, but also convenience, comfort, traveling light. This week I will fly to Argentina and Uruguay, and will definitely take my ChackPack with me.

And how do you prefer to spend your time on a plane?
Mainly reading and sometimes talking when the neighbour is a nice person 🙂

Brand Consultant and Business Speaker Antonio Paraiso

Luxury marketing is part of the consulting services you offer your clients. What does luxury mean to you personally? Which role does luxury play in your life and when you travel?
Nowadays, I do indeed a bit of consulting, but my main activity is training executives in high-end brands and delivering talks in business conferences and corporate events. I like speaking in public and inspiring audiences.
I love the definition of luxury by iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel, who once said that “luxury is not the opposite of poverty. It is the opposite of vulgarity”.
For me, luxury means living and enjoying special moments, rather then owning things. I prefer traveling, visiting historic monuments, art galleries, museums and a memorable stay in a classy hotel rather than owning a luxury object.
To me luxury means culture, taste, discretion, time, peace of mind, traveling, getting to know different places, peoples and cultures. My own definition is that “luxury is a state of mind and a way of life”.
In my daily life, luxury has a modest role. My life is not extravagant. However, when I travel, I like letting myself indulge in a classy restaurant, hotel and spa.

What was the most unexpected story that ever happened to you while traveling?
Again, it is difficult to select just one. I could tell you a hundred stories 🙂 I shall pick 3 short ones.
I was in Tokyo for a trade exhibition when the 1st Gulf War in January 1991 started. On the flight back to Frankfurt, at 10.000 meters altitude, my work colleagues told the cabin crew, just for fun, that I was an Iraki and got on the plane illegally. People were nervous due to the war. Lufthansa staff checked my documents many times, did not leave me alone during the full 14-hour flight and police was waiting for me in Frankfurt for interrogation. Not so funny then.

One day in Copenhagen a police officer had been murdered and the suspect was an illegal immigrant. So I was again mistaken for that immigrant and was arrested in the street for interrogation.
I called one of my Danish clients, with whom I had dinner on the previous evening and he came to the police headquarters and confirmed my alibi.

Back in the 90’s I was drinking and dancing with friends in a night club in Manchester, and many youngsters came to me asking for autographs. Later I realized they had mistaken me for soccer star Eric Cantona, who was playing for Manchester United Football Club at that time. That was fun 🙂

Wow – those are unforgettable travel experiences for sure! Thank you so much for sharing them with us today! We wish you pleasant travels!

Brand Consultant and Business Speaker Antonio Paraiso

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