Atlético-MG striker Givanildo Vieira de Sousa, better known as Hulk, is currently the biggest idol of Massa alvinegra. When he’s not on the pitch, like in the game against Bragantino, he’s sorely missed, and when he is, it’s an undeniable synonym for goals.
Hulk doesn’t just score goals in football, though. The player is about to score a great goal in tourism with the opening, in October, of the Ba’ra Hotel, in João Pessoa (PB), a development that is sure to put the city on the luxury tourist route.
The Ba’ra Hotel was presented in the first week of this month in São Paulo at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), the largest trade fair in the luxury segment in Latin America.
The hotel is a partnership between the player, the construction company Massai, Florense Paraíba and the Hofmann Station office. At first glance, the building impresses with its bold design, landscaping and use of natural light.
Located on the beach of Cabo Branco, the noblest region of João Pessoa, the Ba’ra Hotel strives for comfort, gastronomy and a high standard of service. The hotel has 123 units, four suites, two restaurants, a bar that connects to the boardwalk and another, a rooftop terrace and a rooftop infinity pool.
“I now see João Pessoa growing in major tourism,” says Hulk, justifying the choice for the capital Paraíba. Hulk, born in Campina Grande, still praises his birthplace: “We have the biggest and best São João in the world.” And he concludes: “I am in love with Paraíba.” In this interview he talks about the new activity.
How did the idea of investing in tourism come about?
I always try to diversify my investments. Paraíba has a lot to offer (for tourists), João Pessoa is a beautiful capital, it has beautiful beaches. I am sure that tourism in Paraíba will still be very strong as it has grown tremendously in recent years. I’ve been investing in other areas for a few years now. Now that the opportunity arose to invest in the hotel, I saw that it was a good one, even to generate jobs and enlarge the city.
Why choose João Pessoa and not Campina Grande, your homeland?
There’s no question why João Pessoa, not Campina Grande, is all about the moment. I see João Pessoa in a very big tourist growth. Then the opportunity arose at a large, well-respected company that has been successful in business for decades. João Pessoa, the capital, by the sea, all this made me interested and got involved in this wonderful project.
Ba’ra is a luxury hotel brand built by Construtora Massai. Why invest in the luxury segment?
When we think about making an investment, I mainly look for the best. Massai is a construction company that is used to doing large constructions, always of a high standard, and there is no other way. Ba’ra João Pessoa will be the first hotel with an international flag in the city.
Are you coming to the opening of Ba’ra in October?
I will certainly do everything I can to be there because I am very happy. The Ba’ra is very successful thanks to God, everyone is looking forward to get to know the hotel, for the structure, for the architecture, which attracts a lot of attention. It will of course depend on my schedule here, which is tight, but I will do my best to attend and celebrate the realization of this big dream.
How high is the investment and what do you expect from the return?
I prefer not to talk about figures, investments, values used. The expectation is the best possible, we are very excited and confident.
Outside the four lines you act as an entrepreneur in other segments. Do you have any other tourist plans?
I also eventually become a businessman, because there is concern about the future. I’m also worried about other things, tourism. We opened the Bar do Cuscuz, of which I am a partner, in March in Recife, with a top structure, and eventually also attract tourists who come to visit the city. I see a lot of posts on Instagram, people tag me: “I’m here in Paraíba, here in Recife, visiting Bar do Cuscuz”. In this way I hope to contribute to my Paraíba, to my northeast. I am in love with Paraíba and I hope to help the state publicize Brazil, to the world, to show what we have best.
You are now an idol in Minas. Do you have a specific project for Belo Horizonte or Minas Gerais?
I am very happy to live in Minas, I am already a citizen of Belo Horizonte, a title I have been awarded in the past year. As I said, the world is full of opportunities. If I get the chance to invest in a project here I would be very happy. Because I am very well received, not only me, but also my relatives.
When you travel, you usually stay in good hotels. What do you value most about hosting?
Since I have a big family, children, of course I look for something for them to have fun, and when I travel alone with my wife, I see a cozier, more romantic hotel.
As a Paraíba, what attractions would you recommend to a tourist planning to visit the state?
As a resident of Paraíba, I am particularly passionate about Paraíba. It has beautiful beaches, natural pools, a very famous cuisine. We have the biggest and best São João in the world in Campina Grande, one of the most automated cities in Brazil. Paraíba has many more things, but because I left there very early, I didn’t get to know much in the end. There are beautiful things that I see in the pictures and I would like to see them in Paraíba, but I don’t have time. Not to mention the responsiveness of the Paraibanos. The tourist who decides to visit Paraíba will be very well received, it will be worth it.
Is there anything you particularly like in Minas?
I like to stay at home, it’s hard for me to go out, because I travel a lot for work. Minas is a beautiful state, with many stories. I went to Tiradentes to spend two days, I didn’t get to know much: I did some tours, saw some churches, I hope to come back with more time. What I miss is time. Nowadays the places I prefer to be are at home and in Mineirão.
What’s the best trip of your life so far? Do you have valuable tips for travelers?
In all my travels I try to enjoy it as much as possible. What I can say to travelers is: wherever you go, enjoy that the journey is light and special.