“Remove the tourism limit from the travel page and put it on the savings page.” This is how São Paulo Secretary of State for Tourism and Travel Vinicius Lummerz wants to be remembered. In his three years at the helm of the portfolio, he has already told Diário that his tenure is guaranteed until at least the end of 2022. By partnering with the private sector, he designs improvements for the capital city of São Paulo. and for the countryside. Read more about the interview Lummerz gave to journalist Paulo Atzingen, editor of DIÁRIO, during WTM Latin America:
DIARIO: Did you manage to print your rhythm as a public person, as a manager, or was Joao Doria influenced you a lot? Did you feel comfortable in front of the secretary?
VINICIUS: Yes, I felt not only comfort, but also support. Governor Joao Doria comes from tourism, he was the president of Paulistur (Empresa Paulista de Turismo) and Embratur (Brazilian International Tourism Promotion Agency), like me. There is a little-known problem with the way Joao Doria manages: letting secretaries create. In our Monday meetings—and there were 156 board of secretaries meetings, each lasting at least four hours—the secretaries present what they are going to do and present the results of what they are doing. What sets Joao Doria apart is that he lets him work, but he demands it as a manager. And that was before Rodrigo [Garcia] during this period as Secretary of State to help make this possible. And secretaries to cooperate.
What I have been able to do in the state of São Paulo has a lot to do with internal work with the government. But the first step was to create a secretariat for tourism as such, which we did not have. In practice, we only had a program called Dadetur, in which about 220 million reais were executed in 210 municipalities. Today it has increased to 550 million reais. As early as this year, we are thinking about a reform, about improving this program with the inclusion of new facilities. Not only does it work, but it also includes more options for these features. What we did was organize a secretariat, which included people from Embratura, from the Ministry of Tourism, from the city hall of São Paulo, from the market. Today we have a secretariat, organized like a ministry, and much better than the Ministry of Tourism in terms of functioning. São Paulo has achieved this in our time.
Partnerships and projects
We don’t have Embratura. That’s why we partner with the State of Sao Paulo Convention and Visitors Bureau. We have focused our work on São Paulo para Todos, which was the original program that we launched, and in parallel we have built the Plano 20 30, a complete plan that has been supported by the USP through the FIA USP as well as Invest, with its design asking for everything condition. In the beginning, we already started in January 2019 with a reduction in the fuel tax for airlines from 25% to 12%. We have just started negotiations for the areas to massively invest in media through the convention bureaus and expand by 700 flights a week and 16 locations in the hinterland will have flights they didn’t have and others will expand. And these obligations were signed, but the pandemic came, and now they are back. We’re going to get millions of investments in airports. Tourism should cooperate laterally. So we participate in natural park concessions. We have the Immigrant Park concession from the secretariat. And we’re going to build a project called T Land, the land of tourism… that’s new this year. It will be three to four times more than [Parque do] Ibirapuera, with many attractions, will become a tourist area. The last act of Governor João Doria was the Serra Azul Tourist Area Act, which is a law created in the state for differential treatment, jointly administered between the state and the municipality, with an investment plan of 2 million reais from the private sector alone. . Today is the full secretariat. In Mogi das Cruses, he broke the record for the number of registered travel electives we launched last year. Tourism in the state is studied by 130 thousand students. It’s a student favorite and it will have an impact later on. There are many changes, attracting investment and exploration to develop industry strategies.
DIARY. Will you leave a legacy? And is this legacy a guarantee that these projects will continue even if there is a change of power?
VINICIUS: We hope so. Brazilian tourism, along with agribusiness, are Brazil’s two main competitive advantages in the world. It is in them that we position ourselves in the first place. You looked at agribusiness 40 years ago and we were food importers. Today we are one of the largest exporters, because a program was created for this, internationalization took place in the production chain. There were loans, training, intelligence from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and integration of production chains. With tourism we opened an airline capital there at the end of the reign [Michel] Afraid. We have reduced the very high taxes on aviation fuel. Today we zeroed out all taxes as a temporary measure in the last days of the Temer government, zeroing out the cost of importing theme park equipment. This has hindered the development of Brazil in this sector, but we still have work to do. Why should a hotel pay the same tax as an individual if TV, air conditioning, mini bar are supposed to be capital goods? This will update and mobilize the chain. Brazil has an archaic mindset.
In Brazil, there is no formation of a middle class in this country. With all due respect to liberal concepts, sometimes persecuted by the administration of the current president. [Jair] Bolsonaro, it is unclear whether he is aiming to create a middle class in Brazil. from [ex-presidente] Lula, when Lula talks about the poor man who eats steak with beer on Saturdays. It’s not middle class. The middle class is the American dream, the dream of São Paulo, the dream of Santa Catarina, Ceara of development and social prosperity. It’s when a son sees his father’s sacrifice and knows that the son will have more than him. This is the dream of the European middle class, and this is the dream, amazingly, of Chinese communism, Chinese communism. word [presidente chinês] Xi Jinping must create a middle class by understanding the middle class not as Lula understands it, but by understanding the middle class as those who have access to quality public goods, private consumer goods at a fair price. What is not in Brazil. In Brazil, these are high interest rates, high prices, high taxes, and limited access to cultural property. The middle class must have access to culture. Not only consumption. I didn’t mean to quote Donald Trump, but I will. He said something harsh about Brazil, but it’s true. The Brazilian consumer is the dumbest on the planet. We must change the consumption model in order to have a middle class.
DIARIO – I understand that with your geopolitical, economic, philosophical ideas, including on the issue of the Brazilian economy, it seems that the tourism portfolio is not enough for your leadership position. Vinicius, you have no intention of pursuing a political career or going abroad… how do you like a candidate for the government of Santa Catarina?
VINICIUS: My studies were abroad, I received a diploma from the American University in Paris. I then took several executive and postgraduate courses in the US as well as in Europe. I had many opportunities to train. I belonged to an excellent school of the Brazilian Micro and Small Enterprise Support Service (Sebrae), I implemented the Sebrae of Santa Catarina and was one of the founders of the national Sebrae, which is also a good school. I even have invitations to go abroad, but for work. I have invitations from the board of the company. And at the same time, I proposed to run for governor of the state of Santa Catarina, but the party (PSDB) decided not to have a candidate for governor. So from the partisan discussion they decided to stick to an indefinite wing. I didn’t accept it, I respect it, but I didn’t accept it if you break away from here to go there. And here in São Paulo, Rodrigo Garcia suggested that I run for state or federal government. My decision was to stay and finish the work I’m doing. I think I should finish it by the end of the year. The 2030 plan we are implementing must end. And this dedication will be complete. Of course, along with my efforts to elect Joao Doria, the best governor in Sao Paulo’s history.
If you were to ask me to summarize what I have done or what I am doing is to remove the tourism limit from the travel page and put it on the savings page. Brazil is not a country with 6 or 7 million foreign tourists. This is a country of 220 million trips. It is one of the largest air travel markets on the planet. 11 million tourists visit Sao Paulo every year. Imagine it with the clean center of Sao Paulo. Those 11 million could be 22.33 million.
Tourism Minister Vinicius Lummerz: “We are the result of a dream”