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The Portuguese discovers Brazil again

Global Press Network | Jan 16, 2007

The Portuguese business people discovered Brazil again, this time only at a deferent perspective. This impression gets support from the Portuguese flags flapping and waving above hotels in Brazilian territory in present time. Portuguese Companies like Vila Gale and Espirito Santo and others conquered a significant piece of Brazil's hotel market and running quite successfully. Grupo Pestana, Portugal's largest single hotel company planned to be the king of the mountain in its former colony.

Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America; and the fifth largest in the world in both area and population. According to the IMF and the World Bank, Brazil has the ninth largest economy in the world in Purchasing Power Parity and eleventh largest when market exchange rate is considered. After studying Brazil for two years, Pestana decided in 1999 that economic conditions were right to open its first hotel, which it did in Rio de Janeiro, the city that most represents Brazil. In six years, the company opened six hotels and one branded luxury inn; at cities such as Angra dos Reis, Natal, Salvador, Silo Paulo and Curitiba. The goal has grown even more; Pestana's motto for Brazil is ‘10 hotels in 10 years’ and mission of all Portuguese hotel companies is now ‘30 hotels in 30 years’. In 2004, the Brazil division won Pestana's business unit of the year award for achieving a 31% average annual earnings growth rate. Occupancy rates also shone in 2004. That year, Brazil posted the largest number of room-nights within the company, at 300,000. This number increased more in last two years.

Pousadas are luxury hotels created by the Portuguese government in the 1940s and taken over by Pestana in 2003. In Portugal they are divided into four categories; historical, historical-architectural, ecological and charm. Pestana's foreign expansion will involve only historical pousadas with 50 or more rooms and Brazil is the top selection for the purpose. Pestana's knowledge on its former colony Brazil's market, language and culture is enormous. Brazil's National Development Bank said, enterprises like that of Portuguese can serve as a model for other groups looking to capitalize on Brazil's cultural heritage.  

In general, Portuguese entrepreneurs had invested over $10 billion in Brazil and over half (55%) of total Portuguese investments abroad had Brazil as their destination. Tourism is the area in which the Portuguese have invested the most, especially along the coast of Northeast Brazil. Food distribution, airline and telecommunications are other sectors in which they are active.

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