This Sunday (05.08) Brazil will celebrate the National Day of one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic in Brazil, but which, with the decisive support of the federal government, is going through a moment of recovery and showing a strong recovery power. This is tourism, a segment that is gradually gaining numbers corresponding to the importance of an activity that runs through more than 50 different branches of the economy across the country.
Evidence of positive performance is based on recent data. For example, according to the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), 6.4 million passengers traveled on domestic flights in the month of March, double the same period in 2021. Also in March, the Brazilian Association of Corporate Travel Agencies (ABRACORP) had a total turnover of R$869 million in the area, just 2% lower than the same month in 2019.
Tourism Minister Carlos Brito commends the efforts of the tourism industry in the face of the challenges and strengthens the commitment to the sector’s full recovery. “The support of the Bolsonaro government and the commitment to trade were fundamental to maintain operations and prepare for resumption. The results motivate us to ensure that tourism returns to pre-pandemic levels and increasingly contributes to the economy and generates jobs and income,” he emphasizes.
Another favorable example comes from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE): the index of tourism activity in the country grew by 29% in the first two months compared to the same period in 2021 – this after a 21% increase in over the past year, compared to 2020. By the way, members of the Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies (ABAV) ended 2021 with a total turnover of BRL 19.3 billion, an increase of 37.6% compared to 2020.
Promenade of Praia do Jacaré, in Cabedelo (PB). Credit: Cacio Murilo/MTur Destinos
Since the start of the pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism has taken several measures to mitigate the negative effects. Among them provisional measure 936, which guaranteed wages and reduced working hours; MPs who set rules for the cancellation and relocation of services; the offer of R$5 billion in credit, the transfer of R$3 billion in emergency actions in culture and the availability of the Responsible Tourism Seal, which indicates compliance with Covid prevention measures.
Minister Carlos Brito points out that the adoption of biosafety protocols, coupled with advances in coronavirus vaccination promoted by the federal government, are strengthening the environment conducive to travel in the country. “Our main goal was to ensure the survival of activities throughout Brazil so that you, a tourist, can enjoy the best that our different destinations have to offer in terms of unforgettable experiences,” he justifies.
STRUCTURING – Adequate preparation of the sector for the resumption also received attention. Last year, the MTur registered the delivery of 762 infrastructure works supported by the agency in the country, contributing R$866.2 million. There were also claims from the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (IPHAN), attached to the agency. Since 2019, the municipality has completed 70 works for the restoration of historic spaces, with an investment target of R$290 million.
Another important measure was the definition of the new Brazilian tourism card that guides government policies and MTur investments throughout the national territory. The tool now collects 2,644 cities, spread over 336 tourist regions, and as of this year the design has been improved: the map can be updated at any time, instead of every two years, allowing more cities to integrate the tool.
View of Lagoa da Conceição, in Florianópolis (SC). Credit: Daniel Vianna/MTur Destinos
To encourage Brazilians to travel in the country, the Ministry of Tourism launched the +Credit + Tourism Program this year. The initiative, a partnership with Caixa Econômica Federal, facilitates consignment loans and provides ample timeframes for federal officials and INSS retirees and retirees to purchase services from companies such as tourism offices and lodging facilities.
The MTur’s efforts also include strengthening nautical tourism. In addition to speaking with the federal government about the resumption of the current season – which should bring in more than R$1 billion and create about 14,000 jobs despite the effects of the pandemic – the agency has embarked on a major package of measures this year. for incentive with measures such as tax exemption, lending and improvement of the nautical infrastructure.
The MTur also implemented the Safe Tourism program, which aims to develop public actions and policies to increase the sense of well-being of visitors to the country. As a pioneer, the initiative includes 59 actions, divided into action lines related to public safety, prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in tourism, consumer relations in the sector, tourist transport, civil protection, health surveillance and positive communication.
Recognizing the need to guarantee a good service to visitors, the Ministry of Tourism has qualified 34,000 professionals by 2021 through free training. The agency also made an innovative way of communicating in English available to the workers in the field. Based on teaching basic expressions of the language through videos, “Want that” enables low-skilled workers to improve communication.
OUTLOOK – By monitoring the trend of increasing demand for nature tourism in the post-pandemic period, the MTur has contributed to the valuation of important assets in the country. Collaborating with the Ministry of the Environment and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) ensured feasibility studies aimed at granting national parks in Ceará, Maranhão, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do South.
Two Brothers Lookout, in Fernando de Noronha (PE). Credit: Bruno Lima/MTur Destinos
Attracting the interest of major global industry players to Brazil is another priority for the agency. The investment portal of the Department of Tourism, which collects opportunities for private action in the country, already has a portfolio of 65 tourism projects in 19 states and the Federal District. Together they make up approximately R$26 billion in planned private contributions and can open more than 125,000 jobs.
Pasta is also committed to transforming places in the country into spaces better adapted to the future of the sector. A pilot project to create Smart Tourist Destinations (DTI) brings together two cities representing each of the country’s five regions: Rio Branco/AC and Palmas/TO (North); Recife/PE and Salvador/BA (Northeast); Campo Grande/MS and Brasilia/DF (Central West); Florianópolis/SC and Curitiba/PR (South); Rio de Janeiro/RJ and Angra dos Reis/RJ (Southeast).
The tourism minister judges that the actions of the government of Jair Bolsonaro reinforce the perception of Brazil as a promising destination. “Our commitment to ensuring the country’s vast potential is fully exploited has been recognized even by the industry’s highest-ranking international entity, the World Tourism Organization, which is preparing the installation in Brazil of its first regional office in the Americas” , emphasizes Carlos Brit.
VISIBILITY – The consolidation of the recovery in the area also entails efforts to promote national attributes abroad, with the aim of increasing the arrival of foreign visitors to the country. With the support of the MTur, Embratur (Brazilian Agency for the International Promotion of Tourism) has announced the end of visa requirements for Australian, Canadian, Japanese and North American travelers to enter Brazil since 2019.
Recently released data points to good results regarding the arrival of foreigners to Brazil. More than 530,000 visitors came to the country in the first two months of this year, according to the International Traffic System of the Federal Police. And figures from the Central Bank show that this public’s spending in Brazil totaled $781 million in January and February, a 63% increase compared to the same two-month period in 2021 ($480 million).
Embratur’s president, Silvio Nascimento, is committed to strengthening Brazil’s image. “We are moving towards the total recovery of the sector and reinforce this data that Brazil is an interesting and safe destination. In the United States, for example, our visa-free campaign contributed to US$5.7 million in sales to the country. The joint work with the MTur will certainly increase the number of foreigners in Brazil throughout the year,” he predicts.
Iguaçu Falls, in Foz do Iguaçu (PR). Credit: Zig Koch/MTur Destinos
Until the end of this year, Embratur has on the agenda the realization of at least four advertising campaigns in the United States, Europe and Latin America, as well as the organization of, among other things, family tours, press trips and roadshows. The Agency must also be present at 14 major trade shows abroad and also take advantage of the visibility of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to organize promotional activities.
EXPIRED – The National Day of Tourism was established in 2012 with the entry into force of Law 12,625. The date refers to May 8, 1916, when the state of Paraná requested that the expropriation of land near the Iguaçu Falls be declared as public utility for the construction of a park. The demand was accepted on July 28, 1916 with State Decree No. 653. Today, the unit receives millions of tourists and is an icon of national tourism.
by André Martins
Communications Office of the Ministry of Tourism