By Toni Sando
There is an intrinsic link between events and destinations. When seeking the integration of a congress or fair with the city that will receive it, the participants’ experience can be enhanced, but integrated hospitality actions are needed for this to happen.
Visite São Paulo, a private body that works to attract both Brazilian and international events to the city in order to increase the economy of the destination, believes that it is necessary to embrace visitors and event participants on all sides. In order to do so, important new work needs to be done: curatorship.
São Paulo is a metropolis of extraordinary numbers. It has 12 million inhabitants, welcomes 15 million visitors every year, and offers endless gastronomic options, entertainment, leisure, shows, theatrical presentations, tours, shopping and very much more, including attractions 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Efficient curatorial work is needed so that visitors do not get lost in a sea of options and miss those activities that really generate a remarkable experience.
Visite São Paulo has been working with partners and associates in the world of events so they can offer this curatorship, with positive options for the public visiting the congresses that are held in the city and supported by it.
The world of associations has its own particular characteristics, such as the rotation of its events, so the participating public may have only this one opportunity to visit the destination, since the next edition of the congress is likely to happen in another city.
According to Dados e Fatos, a publication of São Paulo Turismo that is supported by Visite São Paulo and UBRAFE [The Brazilian Union of Trade Fair Promoters], Brazilian visitors to São Paulo stay for around 3 days and spend R$ 180 a day, while international visitors spend 4 days, with average daily expenditure R$ 484. Half of today’s visitors are motivated by business and events. According to Visite São Paulo’s calendar, congresses and conventions represent 12% of the events held in the city (not considering cultural events, such as shows and major theatrical and musical presentations).
The opportunity is clear in presenting the city that welcomes people of all tastes and size of pocket. The São Paulo Destinations project divides the capital into 5 independent macro-regions that are capable of holding events of all sizes and offering leisure and entertainment options to the participating public. They are: Berrini; Center & North Zone; Itaim & Faria Lima; Ibirapuera & Moema; and Paulista & Jardins. There are also associated cities, including tourist resorts.
Working in a segmented and focused way, it is possible to offer a widely diverse public the facilities required for them to take advantage of the very best the city has to offer while the event is being held, which, in the end, also wins, by providing its participants with a complete experience from the time they arrive until they leave.
The opinions expressed in this text are the author’s opinion and do not necessarily reflect the position of WTM Latin America.
About the author
Toni Sando is Executive President of Visite São Paulo and President of UNEDESTINOS