World Tourism Day will be commemorated for the first time in Brazil on September
27. The theme chosen this year by the World Tourism Organization is “Sports and
Tourism: Two Living Forces for Mutual Understanding, Culture, and the
Development of Countries.”
Brazil is planning a Tourism Week, which will include a series of events. The organizers of the commemoration named President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva the outstanding tourism personality of 2004 for having created the Ministry of Tourism.
The President of the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality Workers, Moacir Tesch, said that the creation of the new Ministry is providing a greater incentive to the sector.
“For those of us who work in tourism and hospitality, the creation of the Ministry of Tourism was a great victory. It was one of the sector’s long-standing demands. Tourism is developing once again in Brazil, and, with support from the government, we shall respond by creating jobs and generating income and wealth for the country,” he affirmed.
The Brazilian Central Bank announced that between January and July, 2004, net revenues in the sector amounted to US$ 345 million. This represents seven times what the sector earned over the same period last year.
During these first seven months, foreign tourists spent US$ 1.84 billion in Brazil, 40.46 percent more than in 2003. Brazilians also spent more on travel abroad, US$ 1.5 billion, 18.91 percent more than they did last year.
“These figures demonstrate not only the fruits of promoting Brazil internationally as a vacation spot, attracting growing numbers of visitors, but that Brazil’s economy is improving, since we also spent more abroad,” observes Eduardo Sanovicz, President of the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur).
The Ministers of Tourism, Walfrido Mares Guia, and Environment, Marina Silva, signed a technical cooperation agreement to promote sustainable development in the tourism sector.
The agreement was signed earlier this month in São Paulo at the opening of the “Certification of Adventure Tourism” symposium during the Adventure Sports Fair.
Acting in conjunction, the ministries intend to stimulate debate among non-governmental organizations (NGOs), entrepreneurs in the tourist sector, educational institutions, and society over integrated programs for ecotourism in the short, medium, and long run.
Minister Mares Guia emphasized that the accord fits in with the aims of the Ministry of Tourism. He recalled that, when the Ministry of Tourism was created, its focus was on the generation of employment, income, and foreign currency earnings.
The Minister also underscored the force of tourism. According to him, the sector represents 10 percent of the world economy””more than telecommunications””and accounts for one in every ten jobs.
In Brazil 4.5 million people work formally and informally in the area of tourism. The goal, according to Mares Guia, is to create 1.2 million jobs in the sector by the end of President Lula’s mandate, in 2006.