Source: ZAQUEU RODRIGUES. Diário do Turismo.
Over the last few weeks, you've followed the DIÁRIO's coverage of the 5th Schultz Commercial Meeting. This year's edition brought together 50 Schultz sales executives and took place in Jalapão (TO), a destination that attracts more and more tourists in search of experiences in fervedouros, waterfalls, dunes and canyons on an off-road trip through the heart of the Brazilian cerrado .
In previous articles, we presented the topics covered in the content program, held in the capital Palmas, and the perspectives of executives after an expedition through different cities and attractions that make up Jalapão. Now, in this exclusive interview with DIÁRIO, the president of the Schultz group, Aroldo Schultz, reflects on the current moment of tourism, affirms that crises are cyclical, points out the importance of technology for the travel market and says that the travel culture is starting in Brazil.
A crisis is always very difficult to overcome, but it opens our eyes and teaches us. We have a saying at Schultz that goes like this – when the water hits your ass, you have to get up. If not, it will get wet. We need to face the crisis together, as a team. It's no use crying, it's no use complaining. The crisis shows us how we are doing, how the market is doing, what we can improve.
The crisis brought a damming and now we are in the bonanza, living very well. But this is cyclical. It changes shortly.
In the pandemic crisis, tourism stopped 99%. No one could travel. As time went by, people started making reservations again and today it's booming, it's very strong. But even with excess. In addition to the problem of damming and people's desire to travel, many people who got sick and lost friends saw that life is too short and started to take more care of their health.
The crisis is cyclical
And traveling is health. It's good for the mind, it's good for the body. This tourism comes with a lot of strength. And the fact that it came with a lot of force ended up raising prices too much. Including, many partners began to think that they no longer need their partners. They forget that the crisis is cyclical. And she will come back. She will be back. Those who broke the chain will feel it in the next crisis. We, for example, will not support these companies. Agencies will not support operators who have stuck with them. We will not support airlines that have screwed other companies.
The world has changed geopolitically. Many people traveled to China, Japan, Russia. And today they can't travel anymore. Now that it's open. This market is still starting over. Many people have centered their travels more towards Western Europe. Europe is exploding. September and October are fully booked, lacking manpower, accommodation, lacking everything. Several countries, such as those in Europe, ended up concentrating more tourism.
Today, 90% of tourism is concentrated in Western Europe. This is not good. This is bad, because the tourist who is traveling to Europe is coming back complaining – complaining about the hotels, the services, the prices… and this also takes away the pleasure of the new tourist, who is starting to travel now. He could be taking a trip and having a much better experience.
Traveling is health
After the pandemic, tourists began to pay much more attention to their trips, not just as a luxury, but as a treat. People need to travel, people need to have fun, people need to learn. Traveling is culture, traveling is relationships, traveling is health. People have rethought travel. Traveling is not a luxury. A trip can be simple. It doesn't have to be at a resort. It might be something better. The important thing is to travel. We have to travel.
The travel agent
After the pandemic, many people began to pay more attention to online travel and value the travel agent – the good travel agent. Buying online is easy, but when there is a problem, the tourist has nowhere else to turn. At that moment, the tourist remembers the travel agent. Good travel agents solve huge problems. And travelers increasingly value this professional. Contrary to what was thought – that travel agents would decrease – they are increasing.
The world is digital. Digital media needs to be easy to read and accessible. Many media still make a website thinking that everyone consumes content through the computer. And not. It's on the cell phone, on the tablet. 90% consume information via cell phone. It's an adaptation. Soon everyone will be adapted. There isn't much of a way. It's digital. It has to be digital.
Digital in tourism is still very flawed. A lot is missing. Many agencies do not work with technology. Many technologies that we have in the tourism market are outdated. When we have exponential technology, the first thing that comes to mind for these entrepreneurs is to break the network of partners.
I don't see the technology to exclude partners. I see it to add, as is the case of Meu Adúncio Web, a new company that we launched last month. It is a digital marketing company focused on Schultz companies and other companies as well. It is a company focused on digital media.
Brazilians are starting to learn to travel. The travel culture is starting in Brazil. We have to look at the riches of our country. Sometimes you go to Rome, Africa… Go to Jalapão, go to the Amazon, go to Alter do Chão, go to Camboriú… there are so many beautiful things in this country.
The big problem for Brazilians to travel within Brazil is the cost. Sometimes, a trip abroad is cheaper than a trip within Brazil. There are times when it weighs on the tourist's pocket.
And we have some limitations. We don't have, for example, the same quality of service that is found in some destinations in Africa. Here it is difficult. When we have this service, the price is absurd.
But Brazil has a lot to see. And tourists are starting to pay more attention to Brazil. And more companies are also starting to undertake and create tourist itineraries, such as 100 Limites Expedições, which specializes in Jalapão.
Jalapão is for everyone
Together, we developed the itineraries and demystified this story of Jalapão being exotic. Fate is nothing exotic. It's a clean script. Nature tourism, walking barefoot is not exotic. Exotic is you going to the moon. This is exotic.
Jalapão is not a destination for amateurs. Everything needs to be very well planned. Jalapão was made to break cars. The road has a lot of holes, a lot of sand. So you have to be prepared, with prepared vehicles. We have vehicles with adaptations that nobody else has. These cars are prepared for Jalapão. You can't take the risk and go with just any professional.
Jalapão is a destination that combines the rusticity of an off-road trip, the flora, fauna, local cuisine and moments of peace and contemplation. Cell phones almost don't work – only in the inns, via satellite. The boilers are a gift that God placed here. They only exist here.
Traveling to Jalapão out of season is the best option. Every tourist needs to know that you don't travel on holidays. Travel on holidays only when you have no option. So, coming here out of the high season is the best thing you can do to see the hyacinth macaws, the birds. There are places where we almost can't talk because of the birdsong. There's a Jalapão for each one. And Jalapão needs to be preserved, with sustainable tourism that values local communities.
They treat tourism as a job hanger
It's a shame how tourism is so mistreated from a political point of view. Every month we have a new tourism minister. Depending on the day, the minister changes. Would you please change the minister. It's sad. And I say that of all governments. They treat tourism as a job hanger. I had to hire a professional from the sector, a capable professional. To be a minister you need to be capable, you don't have to be a friend. And it has to have a goal, and it has to have a goal, an action plan. Brazil disrespects tourism a lot.
Source: ZAQUEU RODRIGUES. Diário Do Turismo