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World Tourism Day: 5 things for a city to welcome tourists

5 things for a city to welcome tourists

In September, World Tourism Day is celebrated and today we want to talk about the evolution of the sector in Brazil! Embratur estimates that the country will receive 4.2 million foreign tourists by the end of 2022 – the number does not take into account the millions of domestic travelers exploring the national territory! The expectation is that the activity will grow by 4.3% this year, according to the CNC (National Confederation of Commerce in Goods, Services and Tourism).

Even though the country has a high tourism potential due to the richness of its natural landscapes and history, there is still room for this economic activity to grow. This is because, even though it attracts thousands of foreign tourists every year – before the pandemic, more than 6 million visited Brazilian destinations annually – Brazil is responsible for only 1% of global tourist activity.

For a city to welcome tourists well, a set of factors are necessary that depend on both public and private initiatives. We have listed five essential things for a destination to be hospitable to its visitors. And if you're a tourist, use these tips as a checklist before deciding on your next trip destination. Check out:

1. Hospitality
One of the first things that come to mind when we think about traveling is where to stay. Therefore, it is important that the city has a well-structured hotel network, with varied price and service options. No matter the size of the establishment (inn, resort or hotel, for example), the essential thing is to provide a quality service to welcome tourists.
When we talk about hospitality, it is also necessary to offer ease when it comes to eating. It is important to invest in restaurants and snack bars, however, if this is not a viable alternative for the municipality, it is ideal for the hotels themselves to offer full board to guests.

2. Specific services for tourists
Among the most important things to welcome tourists is to offer a structure to welcome them. Here, it is necessary to consider that the visitor may spend several hours away from the place where they are staying, and that they do not know the city. Availability of public bathrooms, tourist information center and local reception service – with guides, transfers, etc. – are some examples.

3. Security
Security must be part of the public policies of any city. However, municipal managers need to keep in mind that, once the city becomes a tourist attraction, the number of people walking through the streets increases. Consequently, it will be necessary to review the number of not only public safety agents, but also firefighters and lifeguards, in the case of coastal destinations.

4. Accessibility
Free access for all is a right provided for by the Federal Constitution. Furthermore, there is a national decree determining that all people with special needs, including the elderly and people with disabilities, have free access guaranteed. Therefore, it is necessary for the city and establishments to create inclusive and accessible environments for everyone.
Even if the topography of the municipality is not favorable, as in the case of places with many slopes, it is possible to provide alternatives. In addition to accessible public transport and access ramps to establishments, for example, sidewalks must be in good condition, the correct width, free from obstacles and have a guide for people with visual impairments.

5. Existing and potential tourism resources
The beauty of a city can be the main tourist attraction. However, visitors must have alternatives to diversify activities during their stay. When resources are well explored, it is also possible to attract different profiles of tourists. The same city can attract nature and gastronomy lovers, large families and couples.
For example, in Brotas (SP), in addition to nature itself, extreme sports have become an attraction. In the Serras Gaúchas, the architecture and cold attract tourists with the promise of a European climate, but local traders began to invest in the production of chocolates and wines, favored by the climate, as another attraction of the region.

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