Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, Vinicius Lages, and the president of the Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur), Vicente Neto, defended the reform of the governmental agency responsible for promoting tourism in Brazil. Embratur was established in 1966 as a public company. In 2003, it was transformed into an authority and under the Ministry of Tourism.
In the view of Mr. Neto and Mr. Lages, Embratur needs a more modern management model, to accompany the new demands of tourism promotion. “You have to change. It is no longer possible to maintain the current model,” Vicente said in an interview with Portal Panrotas, a Brazilian travel trade publication, at the end of last year. “We have to hurry and have the plan ready for the new Minister of Planning”, Mr. Lages said.
A proposal has already been placed in public consultation and debated in the Senate Tourism Commission; at the event Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies Conference in São Paulo; and at the meeting of the National Tourism Council (CNC) last year. “There were those who were against change. But all trade professionals are with us, because they understand that change is needed,” Mr. Neto said.
At a press conference in Rio de Janeiro last week, the minister followed the same tone. He said the Embratur management model must be “reformatted”. “Tourism can no longer act in isolation, only promoting tourism and not involving other businesses,” said Minister Vinicius Lages.
“Embratur has 400 employees in the country and only 13 abroad. If the idea is to promote Brazil abroad, something is wrong there,” he said. “The idea is turn Embratur into an agency similar to Brand USA, Atout France or Visit Britain.”