the names of the tourism and events area are already feeling a recovery

For those who want to have fun, Rio is once again “the” place. The city already has a dense schedule of shows until the end of the year – for all tastes and which also marks the return of international tours – at the level of pre-pandemic times. Not to mention the fact that it is the year of Rock in Rio, whose tickets sold out quickly: for the day with Justin Bieber, they “flew” in 12 minutes. The event is expected to bring 300,000 tourists to the city, bringing the hotel chain’s occupancy to nearly 100%. The hospitality sector is coming from a better season than expected, with a “summer” that lasted until a second carnival in April.

The climate is reliable for tourism and entertainment. The French company GL events, which manages Riocentro and Jeunesse Arena – the largest congress center and the largest stage in Rio, both in Barra – reopens in June the hotel in the congress and exhibition space, with 306 apartments.

“There is no place like Barra. It should be called the city of events – suggests Milena Palumbo, of GL events.

Dream Factory, which manages programming at Marina da Glória, is preparing to launch the Rio Marathon, in June, and ArtRio, in September, among others.

However, business tourism, an important generator of resources, as it moves an extended supply chain, is still moving slowly. But the announcement of the Web Summit, the largest world meeting on technology, in a year at Riocentro, ignites a sign of hope: the expectation of the segment is approaching 2023.

– When it comes to tourism, we talk from the taxi driver to the executive. It is our main product, it must be looked at carefully – says Roberto Medina, “father” of Rock in Rio.

“It’s one show after another, some worn out”

Milena Palumbo, CEO of GL events in Brazil Photo: Agencia O Globo

“The entertainment market has a tremendous capacity to react, because there is a pent-up demand from national and international tours. Jeunesse Arena no longer has a weekend available until the end of the year. It’s one show after another, some worn out (exhausted). From Marisa Monte we had to open an extra appointment. The pandemic revealed that culture and entertainment are also essential for humans and people are eager to meet artists. It’s a different atmosphere than a tour in a normal year. But what is magical in the entertainment world does not repeat itself in the world of technical-scientific events and fairs. This segment needs a little more time to recover as it is a more complex supply chain. And the fairs were heavily influenced by Rio’s business environment. It is a sensitive market, but extremely important because it generates a huge currency for the city. Today Riocentro works with 50% of what we normally have for medium and large fairs, which require a year of planning and fundraising. There is more demand for 2023, but we will not go back to 100% yet, but around 70%. When you bring a Web Summit to Riocentro, it’s a big goal. Rio needs to come up with a timetable. Therefore, the hotel market is organized and does not depend on carnival and summer “.

Milena Palumbo, CEO of GL events in Brazil

“We are a gigantic product”

Roberto Medina, entrepreneur who created Rock in Rio
Roberto Medina, entrepreneur who created Rock in Rio Photo: Roberto Moreyra / Agência O Globo

“We spent two years looking at our finiteness head-on. I thought that when the mask was taken off, people would cheer. But that feeling hasn’t happened yet. And Rock in Rio can be that door to celebrate the reunion. It is a privilege to work on something that is an economic good for the country and that, at the same time, touches people’s souls. The world is very divided, stressed and music is the meeting of the different, because joy has no side. Unfortunately, Brazil does not take the tourism sector very seriously, which is treated as a booster for the economy. We are a giant product. In the State of Rio, the impact of the sector is R $ 27.5 billion annually. Carnival and Rock in Rio alone represent R $ 5.5 billion. And it is currency generated locally, unlike what happens in the industrial sector, where there is a time for projects to mature. We are experiencing a recovery, I have no doubts. At Rock in Rio we will have 85% of the hotel capacity, or more. There will be 300 thousand tourists. Many think that a party is an expense and a bridge is an investment. Festa also represents more money for health and schools. And in Rio we have a hotel, natural beauty, hospitable people. Just open the door, light up the city and don’t miss this opportunity ”.

Roberto Medina, entrepreneur who created Rock in Rio

“Events keep hotels busy”

“During the pandemic we were closed for eight months. We resumed in November 2021, we thought the end of the year would be wonderful, but then came the second wave of Covid. We have not closed the hotels, but the situation was very complicated. After a slow and gradual recovery, Rio culminated in an exceptional New Year, with a full house. And the carnival without carnival was 86% occupied. The royal carnival, with a parade on the boulevard, had 81%. The entire high season was characterized by high occupancy, especially in luxury hotels. Most of the guests are Brazilian, especially many high-income people. This leisure tourism-focused segment is expected to continue to heat up in the months of May, June, July and August, in the city center, as there will be many events in Rio. Basically national tourism, because the dollar remains high and the war in Europe hits the international one. In addition, there is a lack of airline seats in the international network. In relation to corporate tourism, companies in general have suffered a lot. We note the return of these events, but always with last minute appointments. But this will not always be the case, this is due at the moment, because with predictability you get better prices with suppliers. Rio needs to improve trade and the business environment. These are the events that maintain hotel occupancy: they make up 50 to 60%, depending on the location. And we have hotels focused on just that. And when you have events, you have a variety of expenses that benefit an entire city chain. The return of leisure tourism is something wonderful, but it is not enough “.

Alfredo Lopes, president of Hotels Rio

“This year is still a year of recovery”

Fernando Blower, of Hotels Rio
Fernando Blower, from Hotéis Rio Photo: Ana Branco / Agência O Globo

“In Rio de Janeiro, tourism has a huge impact on bars and restaurants, especially those near a concentration of hotels, such as Barra and Zona Sul, or tourist areas. The New Year and these two carnivals, while not what they were before the pandemic, have a psychological and behavioral aspect of showing a reaction. Domestic tourism is very strong now, but international tourism has not returned. We are delighted that Rio is returning to being an exponent of tourism in Brazil. This year is still a year of recovery, because, in addition to the challenges of the pandemic that we still have to face today, such as liabilities and debts, there is the pressure of costs and inflation, which will still last. In a tough year in spending, it’s important to have more income. And tourism is an important vector on this basis. And Rio still has a lot to do and improve. We are better off today than we have been in years. We have greatly improved the general image of the city and reduced red tape. But the city is still far from being an extremely attractive place. We have our pains, as in urban control, informality and public safety. Until we solve these problems, our ceiling will always be low. “

Fernando Blower, president of the Sind. of Bars and Restaurants in Rio

“I am very optimistic for 2023”

“Since March the events have returned, creating the moments of reunion that people have been waiting for. We are experiencing a super busy calendar this year with events postponed to 2020 and 2021, which stimulate tourism and trade and generate jobs. Outdoor events, especially sports, festivals and concerts, have the highest priority from the public right now. The second half will be a very important period, as it will be affected by the resumption of investments by the brands which, of course, withdrew until March and April of this year. And they are now starting to rebuild their live entertainment sponsorship investments. I am very optimistic about 2023 as the year that is actually clean, January to January, with no interference from a pandemic and with full sponsorship investments. The market as a whole has suffered a lot in these two years and is now trying to rebuild its production chain, cope with inflation and reduce the public’s purchasing power. Dream Factory adapted quickly in 2020, grew in 2021, and now, in this 2022 rebound, it is investing in developing new live entertainment intellectual property and strengthening its business system. We believe in Rio and Brazil ”.

Duda Magalhães, president of Dream Factory

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