Brazil needs to take advantage of the attention that the World Cup will attract to the country to help it consolidate itself as a tourist hub. To be successful, the country will need to think of creative solutions to the challenges the tourism sector faces such as the most efficient use of urban spaces and resolving the issues caused by great distances between locations. These issues were discussed by Dr. Francisco Javier González González, a Professor at the School of Arts and Architecture from Universidad Europea de Madrid, and Elizabeth Kyoko Wada, Director of Graduate Programs in Tourism and Hospitality at Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, during the lecture "Urbanism and Hospitality in Brazil and Spain", which was hosted by Centro Universitário do Norte (UniNorte).
Elizabeth Wada said that we must continue to find new uses for urban spaces. She cited the example of Bridge Estaiada in the State of São Paulo, which has been used to host fashion shows. "What is the proposed use for the Rio Negro Bridge?" She asked, noting that the site has now turned itself into a postcard of the city. She also cited the need to use the period of the World Cup to 'sell' the Parintins Folklore Festival, which is held in late June, to the world. "It's a unique opportunity, but we must resolve the issue of the distances between Manaus and Parintins. Interesting solutions must be sought to bring the tourists who come to the capital to places like Parintins," she noted.
Professor Francisco González spoke about the redevelopment of the Lavapies and Chueca neighborhoods in Madrid, which brought new life to these urban spaces. Spain has the world’s fourth largest tourism sector, behind only the U.S., France and China. Madrid is the fifth most visited city in the world and has been recognizes as the most welcoming city for tourists. He showed the designs used to improve urban mobility in the city, which today allows tourists to arrive at the center of Madrid in less than 10 minutes from the airport, and could be a model for Brazil’s cities.
This article was originally written in Portuguese and has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.