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Tourism Minister completes one year of management and talks about the challenges of the sector

 06/10/2017 | Posted by: Ramon Andrade
Photo: Jornal Maceió
Photo: Jornal Maceió

On the day that he completes a year at the head of the Ministry of Tourism (5), Minister Marx Beltrão spoke to the Tourism News Agency (ANT) about the main achievements, difficulties, challenges and perspectives of his management. In the conversation, the projects in progress and the plans for Brazilian tourism.

ANT: Today you complete a year at the Ministry of Tourism. What are the main achievements achieved in this period?

MB: First of all, I want to highlight the regulation of intermittent work within the labor reform, which was fundamental for Tourism. The bar and restaurant segment alone foresees the generation of 2 million jobs with the modernization of labor laws. In addition to this segment, theme parks and lodging facilities also directly benefit from the measure.

Another achievement of the sector was the launch of the program to streamline the granting of credit for working capital of micro, small and medium-sized companies - which represent 90% of the sector's workforce - providing approximately R $ 20 billion in new financing until August 2018.

Through the Ministry of Tourism, we launched an online qualification channel for professionals who want to work in the sector and reached the historic milestone of 20 thousand people enrolled, taking our courses. Professional qualification is one of the fundamental pillars of our sector, not only to guarantee 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 managed to meet an old claim in the sector by facilitating the entry of tourists from strategic countries to Brazil. Starting in November, we will begin to deploy the electronic visa for Australian, Canadian, North American and Japanese visitors. For the Chinese, we extended the term of the visa to stay in Brazil from three months to five years.

All these actions are part of the Brasil + Turismo plan, a package of measures that I launched in April to strengthen the travel sector and provides solutions for old bottlenecks in the sector, such as the modernization of Embratur's management model, the updating of the General Law of the Tourism and the expansion of Brazilian air connectivity. The WTO secretary general, 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 Brasil + Turismo plan?

MB: We had several deliveries such as reinforcement in professional qualification actions. In addition to the Open Arms channel, we have already started MedioTec Turismo classes, which are vocational courses for high school youth. We offer 10 vacancies across the country. We have also launched an announcement for Tourism and Hospitality students and next year we will take more than 100 young people to study in the United Kingdom under the International Qualification Program, also planned in Brazil + Tourism.

Another measure in progress is the implementation of electronic visas for strategic countries. According to the schedule agreed with the Itamaraty, in November we started the procedure with Australia, in January we will expand 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 an autonomous social service and the opening of airlines to foreign capital. We have been working to raise awareness among parliamentarians so that they can vote on the agenda as soon as possible. Another action proposed in Brasil + Turismo was the agreement with the Union Heritage Secretariat, SPU, for the assignment of areas of tourist interest in the Union to the Ministry of Tourism.

In Brazil + Tourism, we also update the Brazilian Tourism Map every two years, strengthening state agencies; and the agreement with ANTT for inspection of tourist services - actions already carried out. This year we have already updated the map and registered a record in the 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 measures are in place, our expectation is to include over 40 million Brazilians in the domestic travel market and expand the number of foreigners from 6,5 million to 12 million. With this movement of tourists, our expectation is to generate about 2 million jobs through tourism and to inject almost US $ 13 billion into 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 the cruise sector, for example, we already had a first victory with the sanction of the Migration Law - a measure that will reduce the cost per ship by up to R $ 500 thousand. We are also working to reduce the cost of piloting and ratify the Maritime Labor Convention.

Together with the representatives of the Theme Parks, our mission also involves improving legislation regarding the segment. We took to the meeting of Tourism Ministers of Mercosur the proposal for exemption from IPI for equipment without similars 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 classify park equipment as capital goods - not consumer goods as they are currently considered. The theme parks have made a commitment to the government to invest R $ 1,9 billion in exchange for tax exemptions in the purchase of equipment to modernize their facilities. The disbursement would take place over a period of five years and would be sufficient to generate 56 thousand direct and indirect jobs, according to the companies themselves.

We have also been closely monitoring the regulation of holiday flights, which is still pending at ANAC and has the potential to insert around 10 million Brazilian tourists into the national market. There are several measures capable of positively impacting tourism and the Brazilian economy.

Mintur

By: Ramon Andrade
Salvador BA
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