More than 11.4 million people cross the tens of thousands of alleys, streets and avenues of the city of São Paulo every day. Life in Latin America’s largest metropolis doesn’t stop for a minute, whether for those who live there or for those who simply stop by in the land of drizzle. In fact, visitors contribute in an essential way to the face of the city.
Tourism represents 10% of the municipality’s GDP and generates 2.3 million jobs, according to data from the municipal Department of Culture. The sector earns more than 45 million reais every day, according to data from Fecomercio and the São Paulo Tourism and Events Observatory.
The challenges of tourism expansion in São Paulo began to be discussed this Monday (30), during the 2nd International Tourism Conference (Confetur).
The event, promoted by the Municipal Department of Tourism, takes place between October 30 and 31, at the WTC Events Center, in the southern area of the city, and is open to the public.
The central theme of the conference is “São Paulo: Tourism for All” and one of the main topics discussed is “Tourism 360”. The idea is to encourage activity beyond business and to show that there are options everywhere and for all audiences.
In an interview with CNN, the municipal secretary of Tourism, Rodolfo Marino, said he was betting on domestic tourism for those already living in the city, but above all on entertainment tourism. “The Ministry of Tourism and SPTuris together managed more than 2,600 events this year. These are small events, events for 400 people, events for 2,000 people. Virada Cultural, for example, brought more than 4 million people into the streets. This entertainment tourism is therefore the main generator of income and jobs in the municipality,” he says.
Tourists who visit São Paulo have already realized that they can be part of another audience. This is the case of those who come to São Paulo for business and end up staying there to take advantage of the late hours, as explained by Embratur’s studies and research coordinator, Fábio Montanheiro.
“You will see, for example, that ten years ago, the hotel occupancy rate was distributed as follows: on weekdays, you had around 55 to 60% occupancy and on weekends, 25 to 29%. Today, on weekends, the occupancy rate of hotels exceeds 45.50%, that is, leisure tourists come to enjoy the city’s events and the entire structure of attractions. And there are the business tourists who extend their stay to take advantage of everything the city has to offer.
One of the city’s strong points for tourists is its gastronomy. According to the Municipal Secretariat for International Relations, the city currently has around 30,000 bars and 20,000 restaurants.
One of the establishments belongs to Denis Rezende, owner of “Café Jornal”, for more than two decades, the businessman has advocated that tourism adapts as the profile of visitors evolves. “Shows, events, museums, actually, bring big attractions and all of that will eventually also have traction for restaurants, for this, for that. So it’s a 360-degree question,” he says .
For 16 years, the restaurant has been part of Brasil Restaurant Week, which has already visited at least 30 cities and offers special menus at affordable prices.
The creator of the project, Fernando Reis, explains that São Paulo is the city that sells the most menus and that gastronomic tourism has intensified.
“Restaurant Week aims to promote the segment, to democratize good gastronomy with a social nature. And, undoubtedly, São Paulo is following the same path as New York, where Restaurant Week was created,” he says.
For the presenter of CNN Travel and Gastronomy, Daniela Filomeno, the cuisine of São Paulo is directly linked to culture and tourism. “São Paulo is already a gastronomic capital, including in Latin America, but it has great potential for growth around the world. We also receive many tourists looking for our gastronomy, our culture and our art. And what does this gastronomic tourism bring you? Inclusion promotes the economy and there is also this cultural promotion which, for Brazil, is so important,” he concludes.
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