The Brazilian government has established a new policy called the National Policy for Tourism Management of Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites. The decree is part of a series of measures that ministry is adopting with the objective of improving the business environment for the tourism sector and increasing opportunities for investments in Brazil. The proposal is in line with the 2018-2022 National Tourism Plan, which defined as one of its strategies the goal “to promote the value of cultural and natural heritage for tourism.”
The announcement is the result of a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministries of Citizenship, Environment and Regional Development, with the support of the Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) and the Institute of Historical Heritage and National Arts (IPHAN).
The goal of the new law is to help maintain, develop new programs, organize projects and promote the tourist segments related to the Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites in Brazil. Brazil has 21 recognized UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are split between Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites.
“This initiative represents a milestone in the valuation and preservation of our natural and cultural heritage. We rank eighth among countries with cultural attractions in the world and we need to know how to take better advantage of our potential to attract more and more foreign visitors and also encourage more Brazilians to know the beauty of our own country,” said Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio.
Cultural World Heritage Sites:
• Monuments: Monumental architectural or sculptured or painted buildings, elements of archaeological structures, inscriptions, caves and groups of elements of exceptional universal value from the point of view of history, art or science;
• Groups: Research groups that, by virtue of their architecture, combine the landscape with its universal and exceptional nature, from the point of view of history, art or science; and
• Places of Interest: man-made works or man-made and nature-related works, and as areas, annexed archaeological sites, which have an exceptional universal value from the point of view historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological.
Natural World Heritage Sites:
• Natural monuments consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations of exceptional universal
value from an aesthetic or scientific point of view.
• Geological and physiographic formations and clearly delimited areas constituting the habitat of threatened animal and plant
species of exceptional universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
• Clearly marked natural sites or natural areas of exceptional universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty.
Some of these natural and cultural sites in Brazil are:
• Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia
• Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves
• Iguaçu National Park
• The Complex of Protected Areas of Central Amazonia
• Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea
• Pantanal Conservation Area
• Historic Town of Ouro Preto
The Ministry of Tourism, together with the other entities involved, is preparing a package of measures to implement the National Policy for Tourism Management of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites. By late 2019 and 2020, through a partnership with SEBRAE, the tourist regions around these UNESCO World Heritage sites can count on a series of actions related to the development and promotion of tourism.
These include orientation seminars for public and private agencies on tourism funding lines; portfolios of investment attraction opportunities (business opportunity mapping, public-private partnerships, and economic feasibility studies of identified business opportunities); participation in national and international fairs of tourism promotion and attraction of investments; support for projects to revitalize tourist areas and creative occupation of public spaces; as well as national and international campaigns for tourism promotion; among others.
In order to carry out these projects, a Committee for World Heritage Tourism Management will be formed, which will be responsible for proposing, monitoring and evaluating the actions associated to tourism activities related to World Heritage. The Ministry of Tourism will lead and coordinate the actions of the group.
Among the objectives of World Heritage Tourism Management Committee are support for the preservation and promotion of World Heritage Sites; increase value and promotion of tourism, in a sustainable way for World Heritage Sites; improvement of tourism management and offering tourism products and services associated to World Heritage, as first-order heritage destinations; among others.