The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, met yesterday with Brazil’s new Minister of Tourism, Daniela Carneiro, on her first visit to the UNWTO headquarters since her appointment by President Lula Da Silva.
At the meeting, according to a UNWTO press release, both highlighted the measures that will be taken to provide effective support to the country’s tourism sector. Innovation, education and training form the basis of the roadmap aimed at stimulating investment and generating decent employment in the South American giant, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
While in the entire region of the Americas international arrivals are 34% below pre-pandemic levels, in 2022 Brazil received 3.6 million international tourists – almost five times the figure for 2021 but 43% less than in 2019 – and earned almost US$5 billion, 68% more than in the previous year, according to data provided by the UNWTO.
The collaboration between the UNWTO and the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism will materialize in a more immediate way in the opening of an UNWTO regional office for the Americas in Brazil, a project that was already in mind in previous years, but of which Pololikashvili assured that “we are adjusting the last points of the contract” to make this initiative a reality as soon as possible.
As the largest economy in Latin America and the Caribbean, the UNWTO considers that the country is now “facing a great opportunity to recover pre-pandemic statistics and position itself as a safe, accessible and sustainable destination”. In this regard, the new Minister of Tourism has already indicated that one of her objectives is to prioritize respect for the rural environment and the preservation of ecological sustainability. If this goal is achieved, the Brazilian government’s support will have an impact far beyond the tourism sector itself.
The UNWTO, according to the communiqué, also “welcomes the associated benefits that these plans will bring, including social empowerment, strengthened confidence in travel and accelerated sustainable action against climate change.”
Historically, Brazil has been one of the countries in the region that has played a leading role in the UNWTO. It is currently one of the five members from the Americas on the Executive Council, a role it will play until 2025, with a strong commitment to ensuring the work that the organization has set itself and ensuring that it stays within budget.
Brazil faces the opportunity to build a new national tourism policy based on the development of the country and its citizens. The partnership commitment with UNWTO is based on the accompaniment to design and implement the new national sustainable tourism plan aligned with the 2030 Agenda and promote the modernization of national tourism legislation.