On the day he completes a year ahead of the Ministry of Tourism (5), Minister Marx Beltrão spoke with the Tourism News Agency (ANT) about the main achievements, difficulties, challenges and prospects of his administration. In the conversation, the projects in progress and the plans for the Brazilian tourism.
ANT: Today you complete one year in the Ministry of Tourism. What were the main achievements reached during this period?
MB: First of all, I would like to highlight the regulation of intermittent work within the labor reform, which was fundamental for Tourism. Only the bar and restaurant segment provides for the generation of 2 million jobs with the modernization of labor laws. In addition to this segment, theme parks and lodging facilities also benefit directly from the measure.
Another achievement of the sector was the launch of the program to accelerate the granting of working capital credit to micro, small and medium-sized companies – which represent 90% of the sector’s workforce – providing around R $ 20 billion in new financing through August 2018.
For the Ministry of Tourism, we launched an online qualification channel for professionals who want to work in the sector and reached the historic mark of 20 thousand people enrolled in our courses. Professional qualification is one of the fundamental pillars of our industry, not only to ensure the good experience of tourists, but to increase the employability of the professional.
We also made progress in the partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we were able to attend an old lawsuit with the facilitation of the entry of tourists from strategic countries to Brazil. Starting in November, we will begin to deploy electronic visas for visitors from Australia, Canada, the United States and Japan. For the Chinese, we extended the term of stay visa in Brazil from three months to five years.
All of these actions are part of the Brasil + Turismo plan, a package of measures that I launched in April to strengthen the travel industry and provide solutions to the industry’s old bottlenecks, such as the modernization of Embratur’s management model, Tourism and the expansion of Brazilian air connectivity. The Secretary General of the WTO, Taleb Rifai, one of the main leaders of the sector in the world, was in Brazil at the launch and praised the initiative.
ANT: How is the progress of the Brazil + Tourism plan?
MB: We had several deliveries as reinforcement in professional qualification actions. In addition to the Braços Abertos channel, we have already begun the courses of MedioTec Turismo, which are vocational courses for young people in high school. We offer 10,000 jobs nationwide. We are also launching a call for students of Tourism and Hospitality and next year we will take more than 100 young people to study in the UK under the International Qualification Program, also planned in Brazil + Tourism.
Another ongoing measure is the implementation of electronic visas for strategic countries. According to the schedule agreed with Itamaraty, in November we started the procedure with Australia, in January we will extend the benefit to tourists from the United States, Japan and Canada.
Three projects are underway in the National Congress: the modernization of the General Tourism Law, the transformation of Embratur into autonomous social service and the opening of airlines to foreign capital. We have done some work to raise the awareness of parliamentarians so that they can vote the agenda as soon as possible. Another action proposed in Brazil + Tourism was the agreement with the Secretariat of Patrimony of the Union, the SPU, for assignment of areas of tourist interest of the Union to the Ministry of Tourism.
In Brazil + Tourism, we also update every two years the Brazilian Tourism Map, the strengthening of state agencies; and the agreement with ANTT to oversee tourist services – actions already taken. This year we have updated the map and recorded a record number of tourist regions. In 2016, there were 2,175 cities in 291 regions, this year the map registers 3,285 municipalities in 328 tourist regions.
ANT: What is the impact of Brazil + Tourism on the Brazilian economy?
MB: When all the measures are in force, we expect to include another 40 million Brazilians in the domestic travel market and increase the number of foreigners from 6.5 million to 12 million. With this movement of tourists, our expectation is to generate around 2 million jobs through tourism and to inject almost US $ 13 billion in the economy with international tourism.
ANT: What other important actions are underway in your management?
MB: We are working on some fronts to improve the business environment and generate jobs and income. For example, by the cruise sector, we have already had a first conquest with the enactment of the Migration Law – a measure that will reduce
in up to R $ 500 thousand the cost per ship. We are also working to reduce the cost of practicing and ratify the Maritime Labor Convention.
Together with the representatives of the Theme Parks, our mission also involves improving the legislation regarding the segment. We took to the meeting of Mercosur Tourism ministers the proposal for exemption of IPI from unparalleled equipment in the community of countries. Now the proposal must be taken to the top of the group for decision-making. Our team also works with the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services to frame the equipment of the parks as capital goods – not consumer goods as they are currently considered. The theme parks made a commitment to the government to invest R $ 1.9 billion in exchange for tax relief on the purchase of equipment to modernize its facilities. The disbursement would occur within five years and would be enough to generate 56,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the companies themselves.
We have also closely followed the regulation of vacation flights, which is still being processed by ANAC and has the potential to include around 10 million Brazilian tourists in the national market. There are several measures capable of positively impacting tourism and the Brazilian economy.