Miss Finland | time

Interview with Patrícia Matos de Azeredo Coutinho

Truthfully, this interview was too lengthy. We tried to extract some passages, reduce some sentences, pace up the studying, nevertheless it was in useless. The solutions are superb and wealthy. That is as a result of Patrícia Matos de Azeredo Coutinho isn’t solely the honorary consul of Finland in Minas. She additionally proved to be ‘THE’ poster lady for ‘the happiest nation on the earth’. And different! He taught a course on tourism and the lodge sector, in Minas and in Brazil. There aren’t any “Mamas & Papas” within the language: “Tourism isn’t valued as a type of financial and social growth in Brazil. It’s not a precedence, it isn’t dealt with professionally. Our infrastructure could be very precarious.” Are we going to Finland?

Patricia, are you aware Finland and Lapland?

Sure, I do know and I like to recommend a go to to everybody. Finland receives nearly the identical variety of vacationers as Brazil, and for a Brazilian, it’s an unique nation with distinctive and genuine experiences. Finnish Lapland is nice for households. All year long there may be the “actual” Santa Claus village, with a number of themed areas and the official put up workplace, the place you’ll be able to meet the great outdated man, his helpers, take a sleigh journey with a pack of Siberian huskies or actual reindeer . An unforgettable expertise.

And the well-known “White Nights”?

“White Nights”! In summer season, the solar doesn’t set. And the northern lights, in winter. These are unimaginable phenomena. Anybody who goes to Finland can not help however discover an island or a lake – there are almost 180,000 – and take a look at a sauna. Finland has nearly two million saunas for a inhabitants of simply over 5 million. Even on the Ferris wheel in Helsinki you’ll be able to take pleasure in one. Finland is near nations like Estonia, Sweden and Russia the place you’ll be able to simply get there by boat, quick and low cost.

Why and the way did you turn into consul of Finland in Minas?

I’ve a level in legislation, I’ve lived overseas a number of instances and I’ve all the time been all in favour of diplomacy and worldwide legislation. Each nation has a coverage in selecting a consul, and within the case of Finland, the nation was in search of a lady to signify it. Then got here the invitation.

What does an honorary consul do?

I help the embassy within the requests of residents and Brazilians who wish to go to Finland to review, work or for tourism, in addition to Finnish firms who wish to make investments and settle in Minas Gerais. I additionally attempt to introduce the miners to Finnish customs and artwork by cultural actions right here. Diplomacy includes steady dialogue with native and worldwide authorities in its numerous spheres, in addition to up-to-date data of politics, economics and commerce negotiations.

Does the opposite aspect of the coin additionally work?

I additionally really feel a bit “Ambassador of Mines”, as I search to current right here the variations and alternatives, breaking the hegemony of RJ and SP. The glamor of diplomacy does exist on some events and occasions, however the day-to-day lifetime of a consul is one among conferences and business and cultural points between the 2 states.

Why the worldwide fame of Finland as one of many happiest nations on the earth, by the UN?

We’re undoubtedly the happiest nation on the earth. The World Happiness Report has been round for 10 years. Finland has received the final 5, from 2018 and now in 2022 inclusive, we’re thought of, by the UN, 5 instances champions of happiness!

However how can a rustic with lengthy, freezing winters be the happiest on the earth? Nonetheless, how do you measure happiness?

Finnish happiness comes from high quality of life, GDP, life expectancy of the inhabitants; social advantages, low ranges of corruption, a great sense of freedom and independence, the generosity of the individuals and the truth that the nation has the biggest forest cowl in Europe. The excessive diploma of gender equality has a constructive affect on the well-being of the inhabitants, being the primary nation to grant girls the common political proper to vote and stand for election in 1906.

Has resilience helped?

Finland systematically conquered its happiness as a result of it suffered loads from wars and poverty. An impartial nation simply over 100 years in the past, in a couple of many years it reinvented itself in a formidable approach, shifting from an agricultural nation to a affluent and fashionable nation by a progressive and forward-looking coverage with heavy funding in training.

Is it a Swedcham?

The Swedish-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce was based in 1953 and focuses on business exercise and networking between Brazil and Sweden, selling a community of contacts to facilitate and promote enterprise. There are over 200 related Swedish firms, however Brazilians are additionally welcome to hitch. Varied occasions are organized, together with on-line. The headquarters is in São Paulo, however I signify the Chamber right here in Minas, the web site is www.swedcham.com.br

Greater than a lawyer and journalist, you’re an skilled in Tourism and Hospitality, proper?

That is proper, I chaired the ABIH MG (Resort Affiliation) throughout an important interval of Brazilian tourism, from 2013 to 2017, the place the Confederations Cup, the World Cup and the Olympics befell. They have been very enriching years that gave me an expanded view of tourism, on the degree of worldwide occasions, working along with numerous authorities entities such because the Ministry of Tourism, the Civil Police, Belotur, the Secretary of Tourism and the Bureau of Conventions.

Why, with a lot potential, does Brazil appeal to a ridiculous variety of international vacationers, even in comparison with our South American neighbors?

Good query, nevertheless it’s a fancy reply as a result of there are various components that affect negatively. We obtained nearly the identical variety of vacationers since 1998, round six million, which could be very little in comparison with different nations. You see, Finland will get over 5 million vacationers a yr and have a look at Brazil, the continental dimension and pure magnificence now we have.

And tourism continues to be a “clear” supply of earnings…

Tourism has already introduced a number of nations out of recession, it’s a clear business with very excessive employability that preserves tradition and historical past, along with being democratic, however it isn’t appreciated as a type of financial and social growth in Brazil. Tourism isn’t a precedence on authorities agendas, it isn’t handled professionally, there may be not sufficient cash for the departments. Our infrastructure could be very poor, even after the World Cup, the place some progress has been made.

Who’s the “butler” of this waste?

We now have a number of logistical bottlenecks. The forms to get a Brazilian visa, its value, is likely one of the greatest in South America, for instance. Many vacationers don’t come to Brazil due to this, they like to cease in Argentina. The issue of entrepreneurship within the sector, the banning of casinos, the problem of approving and constructing ports for cruise ships, the precariousness of our parks, roads, the dearth of correct disclosure and so forth.

Do you agree that BH has many motels for few vacationers?

Sure, there was a time when there have been many vacationers for few motels and now now we have many motels for few vacationers. Belo Horizonte Metropolis Corridor’s coverage of granting permits for the World Cup was irresponsible. It didn’t contemplate market research and market equilibrium. Our common each day price has stagnated for years and our water, vitality and working prices haven’t stopped rising. This has a detrimental affect on the standard of service and on the operational capability of the enterprise.

Then, the pandemic was not the one villain.

It isn’t simply the pandemic that has affected the lodge market, the disaster is coming from earlier than and has solely gotten worse. We now have already seen over 25 lodge companies shut their doorways for the reason that World Cup and that is hurting a whole tourism chain that depends upon lodging to welcome vacationers and arrange occasions. As well as, it has harmed a number of individuals who have invested in condo-hotels (when an investor purchases a unit in a constructing/constructing, then cedes the appropriate to make use of it to a lodge unit) by believing false guarantees of earnings.

“Much less is extra”?

I’ve all the time talked in regards to the irresponsibility of the town to grant so many permits. A Resort requires a big funding and the market is advanced, it isn’t like opening a bakery. The World Cup solely lasted a month! Time has proven the error and harm finished to so many individuals who invested in good religion in motels that in some circumstances have been by no means even accomplished.

As former president and present communications director of the Resort Trade Affiliation of Minas Gerais – ABIH/MG, director of Abrajet, how do you see Tourism in Minas?

Leisure tourism has grown loads inland, together with throughout the pandemic, pushed by the necessity for decongestion. Nonetheless, in cities the place enterprise tourism is predominant, reminiscent of Belo Horizonte, Juiz de Fora, Montes Claros and Uberlândia, tourism and hospitality have been hit onerous and are solely now beginning to get well. Tourism in Minas is rising, as IBGE factors out, with an index of over 45% within the first half of the yr. The state can also be above the nationwide common which was 25% and the job inventory additionally elevated by a mean of 12% in comparison with the identical month final yr.

However that a lot could be very little, do not you agree?

All that is very constructive, however now we have to know that we’re evaluating it with the months of the pandemic, that’s, we will develop rather more. I see tourism in Minas as an honorable approach out of the inevitable decline of mining within the state. Some mayors are already tourism as an choice for when mining ends. Undoubtedly, the state is filled with vacationer sights, however we have to enhance our infrastructure, publicize our potential, enhance the construction of our parks and extra money for the Ministry.

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