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Brazil's tourism infrastructure being revamped ahead of 2014 World Cup

Jul 07, 2009

In preparation for the World Cup in 2014 and in an effort to strengthening the Brazilian Tourism Regionalization Program, Brazil in getting 280 million Brazilian reais (US$ 144 million) in funds. The Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), will be working together with the Ministry of Tourism and sectoral organizations.

The strategy was detailed by Sebrae's chairman Paulo Okamotto, and technical director Luiz Carlos Barboza during a press conference last week, at the 4th Tourism Salon, in the city of SĂŁo Paulo.

"The priority of Sebrae is to facilitate business management and, by working in tandem with different organizations, we are going to multiply our training tools," ensured Okamotto.

The National Sebrae and its state-level units are currently developing over 160 projects with 982 partners, and the trend is for expansion. The organization operates in several areas, by means of partnerships with the Ministry of Tourism, the Brazilian Travel Agency Association (Abav), the Brazilian Association of Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Companies (Abeta) and the Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants (Abrasel).

To Luiz Carlos Barboza, tourism may be regarded as a large services provider in a complex company. "Those who visit a certain place gain an impression from the overall picture, and the quality of services depends on integration between the various players involved," he says.

As an example, he stated that a project for recovering short-length railways at tourist spots might have a huge impact. "We calculate that from 150 to 200 small businesses may be revitalized in each of these spots," said Barboza.

The law of the Individual Entrepreneur, which benefits informal workers with revenues of up to 36,000 Brazilian reais (US$ 18,000), was one of the main points discussed. The chairman and the director discussed the advantages of this change and reaffirmed the organization's commitment to instruct the target audience.

Massive investment in advertisement, the printing of millions of booklets, the establishing of alliances with partners and the supplying of training for consultants to explain the changes to the target public are among the actions forecasted.

The estimate is that approximately 11 million entrepreneurs are operating in informality in Brazil. In the tourism industry, the total number of establishments is approximately 2 million, being 900,000 formal and 1,100 informal ones. There are 900,000 bars and restaurants; 30,000 lodging establishments; 7,000 travel and tourism agencies; and 2,000 car rentals, according to figures supplied by the Ministry of Tourism.

"We must retrieve these informal enterprises, and we are building an environment in which these people can be contemplated. The Sebrae already catered to this public, but we used to only have the problem, whereas now we have a solution. We are going to do whatever we can for them to become businessmen," said Paulo Okamotto.

Brazil's tourism infrastructure being revamped ahead of 2014 World Cup

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