HOW TO IMPROVE TOURISM IN BRAZIL
Essay presented as a final individual assignement for the International Qualification Program to The Bournemouth and Poole College (BPC).
According to the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 20171 issued by the World Economic Forum, Brazil has the richest natural heritage and biodiversity on the planet. But, in spite of this, Brazil appears in 27th position in the global ranking for the travel and tourism industry. The World Economic Forum has issued this Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index based on the analysis of ”a set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country”. The four main pillars of the indexes are: a) Enabling Environment, which involves Business Environment, Safety and Security, Health and Hygiene, Human Resources and Labour Market and ICT Readiness; b) T&T Policies and Enabling Conditions, that includes Prioritization of Travel and Tourism, International Openness, Price Competitiveness, Environmental Sustainability; c) Infrastructure, which analyses Air Transport Infrastructure, Ground and Port Infrastructure, Tourist Service Infrastructure; and d) Natural and Cultural Resources, that evaluates Natural Resources, Cultural Resources and Business Travel.
As one of the 104 Brazilian students of Hospitality and Tourism sent for an International Qualification Program in the United Kingdom, I have had a unique learning experience here. After 11 weeks of living, studying, visiting several places from small towns to big cities, including London, staying in different types of accommodation, eating out, using different means of transport and even going on an international cruise to the Belgium city of Bruges and to the Dutch city of Amsterdam, this has made it possible for me to compare the scale, diversity and quality of the T&T industry in Europe in comparison to the Brazilian experience.
According to the findings of the Report mentioned, the Travel and tourism industry in Brazil presents a series of shortcomings, especially in safety, infrastructure and labour, but also in other pillars of the tourism industry. Although Brazil has gone up the ranks in other aspects, these deficiencies reveal the reasons why Brazil’s global position is still not satisfactory, and despite its huge potential, does not play a more competitive role in the global tourist industry. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 lists the Brazilian position in the most important pillars of the research. Since the previous report, the safety and security context has worsened (106th, down 2 places). The business environment also continues to worsen (129th) due to inefficiency of the legal system, excessive bureaucracy, official rules and formalities. High taxes are also an important negative factor. The qualifications of the workforce and of customer care have declined. Brazil is ranked merely 79th for governmental support, with little investment in Travel and Tourism, and is 121st in marketing activity. Environmental policy should also be doing more to protect Brazil’s biodiversity (66th). These and other failings have undermined Brazil’s ability to achieve a better position in an industry that has become more and more competitive as new countries, especially some from the Asian-Pacific region, emerge to become more and more popular.
The overall rank shows four European countries in the top five (Spain, France, Germany, Japan and the UK, in this order). This is not merely a coincidence. It is a consequence of the policies and attention these countries have placed on their T&T industry over time. The Report says “Europe and Eurasia is once again the region with the strongest overall T&T competitiveness performance, with six economies in the top 10. It continues to lead the rankings thanks to its cultural richness, its excellent tourism service infrastructure, its international openness as well as its perceived safety, despite slightly declining security perceptions in Western and Southern Europe”.
To conclude, I could say from what can be seen in the European T&T industry, as well as the findings of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, although Brazil has considerable potential to play a more relevant role on the international scene, this goal can only be achieved if a great deal of serious and sustained effort is made in the short, medium and long term, in the sense of conserving its natural heritage, its vast biodiversity and its strong cultural heritage, as these are the most valuable attractions the country has to offer. Furthermore, there must be massive investment and enhancement in the infrastructure of T&T, such as airports, ferry ports, coach stations, train stations, ports for ferry and cruise liners, as well as the construction or improvement of some other urban transportation like the underground/tube, bus, tram and taxi systems. But that is not enough. Strong and sustained efforts must be made in sensitive areas like education, security and sustainability. The goal of rising up in the ranking of the world’s tourism industry can only be achieved through a sustainable and continuous solidification of its economic base, so as new external and internal investments can be drawn in, to finance the enhancement of its infrastructure, public health, safety and education. Tourism in Brazil may play a more important role in the global travel and tourism industry, but this will never happen if the country does not take it more seriously and not struggle to knock down the walls that bar its growth and competitiveness.
VOLNEY DA SILVA AMARAL
THE BOURNEMOUTH AND POOLE COLLEGE
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - 2018