“Brazil has an archaic reasoning”

“Take the travel limit from the travel page and put it on the savings page.” This is how the Secretary of State for Tourism and Travel of São Paulo, Vinicius Lummertz, wants to be remembered. With three years at the helm of his portfolio, he had already told Diário that his tenure was secure, at least until the end of 2022. By betting on private-sector partnerships, he was planning improvements to the capital, São Paulo. and for the rural environment. See more details about Lummertz’s interview with journalist Paulo Atzingen, editor of DIÁRIO, during WTM Latin America:

DIÁRIO – Did you manage to set the pace as a public figure, as a manager, or were you heavily influenced by João Dória? Did you feel comfortable in front of the secretary?

WINES: Yes, more than just feeling comfortable, I felt supported. Governor João Doria came from tourism, he was the president of Paulistur (Empresa Paulista de Turismo) and Embratur (Brazilian Agency for the International Promotion of Tourism), as I was. There is a little-known issue in the way João Dória governs, namely: letting secretaries create. In our meetings on Monday – there were 156 meetings of the board of secretaries, with a duration of at least four hours each – the secretaries present what they are going to do and present the follow-up to what they are doing. What marks João Doria is letting him work, but he asks for it, as the manager he is. And it depended on Rodrigo [Garcia] during that time as government secretary to help make this possible. And the secretaries, to cooperate.


What I have been able to do in the state of São Paulo has a lot to do with the internal operation with the government. But the first step was to really structure a tourism secretariat as such, which we did not have. In practice, we had only one program called Dadetur, which had around R $ 220 million in works distributed in 210 municipalities. Today, it has risen to R $ 550 million. We are thinking, again this year, of a reform, an improvement of this program to include new objects. Not only does it work, but it includes several possibilities for these features. What we did was to structure a secretariat bringing people from Embratur, from the Ministry of Tourism, from São Paulo City Hall, from the market. Today we have a secretariat set up similar to a ministry, and much better than the Ministry of Tourism in terms of operation. São Paulo has achieved this in our time.

Partnerships and projects

We don’t have a hug. That’s why we have a partnership with the São Paulo State Convention and Visitors Bureau. We focused our work on São Paulo para Todos, which was the initial program we launched and, in parallel, we built Plano 20 30, a complete plan that was supported by USP, through FIA USP and also Invest, with his construction questioning the whole state. We started already in January 2019, with the reduction of the fuel tax for airlines from 25 to 12%. We have just opened negotiations for the areas to invest heavily in the media through the Convention Bureau and to expand by 700 flights a week and 16 seats inside would have flights, which they did not have, and others would expand. . These commitments were also signed, but the pandemic came and now they are back. We will receive millions of investments in airports. Tourism must cooperate laterally. So we participate in nature park concessions. We have the Parque Imigrantes concession from the secretariat. And we will build a project called T Land, land of tourism … which is new this year. It will be three to four times larger than [Parque do] Ibirapuera, with many attractions, and will be a tourist district. The last act of Governor João Doria was that of the Serra Azul tourist district, which is a law created in the state for differentiated treatment, with co-management between the state and the municipality, with an investment plan of R $ 2 million only from the private sector. It’s the full secretariat today. In Mogi das Cruzes, he broke the registration record for the tourism options we launched last year. 130,000 students study tourism in the state. It is preferred by students and this will have an impact later. There are many changes, attracting investment and intelligence to develop sectoral strategies.

Vinicius Lummertz, Secretary of Tourism of São Paulo (Credit: DT file)

Diary – Will you leave a legacy? And is this legacy a guarantee that these projects will continue, even if there is a change in government?

WINES: Hope. Brazilian tourism, together with agribusiness, are Brazil’s two major competitive advantages in the world. They are where we come in first. 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, it was an internationalization in the production chain. There was credit, there was training, there was information from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the integration of production chains. Along with tourism, we opened the capital of airlines there at the end of the government [Michel] To be afraid. We have reduced very high taxes on airline fuel. Today, we have zeroed all taxes on a temporary basis in the last few days when the Temer government has zeroed the cost of importing equipment for theme parks. These were things that prevented Brazil from developing in the sector, but we still have work to do. Why does a hotel have to pay the same tax as an individual if the TV, air conditioning, minibar should be capital goods? This would renew and mobilize the chain. Brazil has an archaic reasoning.

Middle class

Brazil lacks the training of a middle class in this country. With all due respect to the liberal notions sometimes pursued by the administration of the current president [Jair] Bolsonaro, it is not clear that he is committed to creating a middle class in Brazil. nor from [ex-presidente] Lula, when Lula talks about the poor man eating a steak on Saturday with a beer. This is not the middle class. The middle class is the American dream, it is the dream of São Paulo, the dream of Santa Catarina, the wax of development and social prosperity. It is when a son sees his father’s sacrifice and knows that the son will have more than he. This is the dream of the European middle class and this is the dream, amazing, Chinese communism, Chinese communism. the word of [presidente chinês] Xi Jinping is to create a middle class, understanding the middle class, not as Lula understands, but understanding the middle class as those who have access to quality public goods, private consumer goods at a fair price. Brazil doesn’t have that. In Brazil there is high interest, high prices, high taxes and low access to cultural goods. The middle class must have access to culture. Not just consumption. I didn’t mean to quote Donald Trump, but I will. He said something violent about Brazil, but it’s true. The Brazilian consumer is the worst on the planet. We need to change the consumption pattern to have a middle class.

DIÁRIO – I realize that with your geopolitical, economic, philosophical ideas, including the issue of the Brazilian economy, it seems that the tourism portfolio is not enough for your executive stature. Vinicius, aren’t you going to pursue a political career or go abroad … how was your candidacy for the Santa Catarina government?

VINICIUS: My training was abroad, I graduated from the American University in Paris. Then I took several executive and postgraduate courses in the United States and also in Europe. I had a lot of training opportunities. I belonged to a great school that is the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), I implemented Sebrae in Santa Catarina and I was one of the creators of Sebrae National, which is also a good school. I even have invitations to go abroad, but to work. I have invitations from company boards. And at the same time, I set out to run for governor of Santa Catarina, but the party (PSDB) decided not to run for governor. So, out of a partisan discussion, they decided to join an indefinite wing. I did not accept, I respect her, but I did not accept if you break away from here to go there. And here in São Paulo, Rodrigo Garcia invited me to run for state or federal deputy. My decision was to stay and finish this work that I do. I think I have to finish this by the end of the year. The 20 30 plan we are working on must be completed. And this dedication will be full-time. Of course, along with my efforts to elect João Doria, who was the best governor in the history of São Paulo.


If you asked me to summarize what I did or what I do: it is to take the tourism limit from the travel page and put it on the savings page. Brazil is not a country with 6 or 7 million international tourists. It is a country with 220 million travelers. It is one of the largest airlines markets on the planet. There are 11 million tourists a year in São Paulo. Imagine this with the tidy downtown São Paulo. That 11 million could be 22.33 million.


Tourism Minister Vinícius Lummertz: “We are the result of a dream”

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