By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Ministry of Tourism in Brazil will try to increase international and domestic tourism in the country by taking over and administering areas in the country seen as having ‘high potential for the development of tourism’, according to officials.
“I am very pleased with this step we take in relation to the strengthening of national tourism,” stated Tourism Minister, Marx Beltrão last week after the Planning Ministry handed down an order giving the Ministry of Tourism (MTur) the prerogative over other government entities to lease, administer, assign contracts and rent areas with tourism potential.
“The partnership with the Ministry of Planning will allow us to make the most of the potential of areas that are currently outside the Brazilian and foreign travelers’ tourism itinerary, added Minister Beltrão.
Considered the number one country in natural attractions and 27th in total attractions in the world, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Tourism Competitiveness Report of 2017, Brazil benefits a lot less from its tourism potential than it can, says the Ministry, especially in relation to the rivers, lakes, coastline and forts.
To cash into this unexplored potential, the ministry has launched a set of measures, dubbed Brazil+Tourism, to strengthen the sector, including several cultural activities in state capitals to encourage Brazilians to discover their own country.
Regional festivals from different parts of the country are being highlighted throughout Brazil to generate greater domestic travel.
“Our country has an extremely rich culture and we need to take advantage of it to move the economy, generate employment and income through tourism,” said Beltrão.
In order to attract international tourists the ministry has also been holding Festa Junina (June Festival) presentations in major European cities such as Madrid and Rome.