Minas Gerais, Brazil

Project feasibility

Client: Anglo American

Connecting tourism supply and demand

Starting point

All potential but no vision

To help consolidate new sources of regional income and employment, key business player Anglo American sponsored a comprehensive study to pinpoint economic activities in sectors with high potential. The study took place in the State of Minas Gerais, in particular an area west of the iconic Serra do Espinhaço, with epicentre in the Municipality of Conceiçao do Mato Dentro.

Among other opportunities, the study unveiled latent potential in tourism. In spite of its remarkable natural assets and the importance of its historic-heritage sites, tourism in the region remains small and fragmented, delivering limited value to local communities. The size of the opportunity called for an ambitious whole new tourism vision capable of delivering regional integration and a marketable identity to attract both visitors and investors.

A tourism corridor linking individual attractions and services will generate value for the region as a whole.

Our approach

An ambitious strategy

Ergo produced a fully fleshed out tourism strategy for the region. The work reflected all relevant areas of analyses, including different territorial models of tourism, policy and regulatory background, consultations and stakeholder mapping, demand side considerations, supply side (the five ‘As’: attractions, accommodation, access, amenities, and activities), gap analysis, and relevant global benchmarks. The analysis came together into a concrete plan for strategy implementation structured in four major pillars:

1) Institutional framework: A coordination platform to convene all relevant stakeholders.
2) Territorial marketing: Brand development built around a unifying regional identity.
3) Public infrastructure: Prioritised interventions to maximise catalytic impact.
4) Business possibilities: Encouraging entrepreneurs to take up investment opportunities.

The outcome

The ultimate tourism corridor

The feasibility study identified potential for value generation in the concept of a tourism corridor to exploit the impressive natural and cultural endowment of the region by linking attractions and supporting services along the way. The new vision would be executed through a scenic road connecting dispersed supply and demand, incorporating tourism features, and thus becoming an attraction in its own right.

Developing regional tourism offers opportunities beyond individual investments: the strategy can increase the value of specific tourism assets whereby the total is larger than the sum of individual parts. The study modelled the economic impact of a collaborative approach to tourism, tying together different municipalities and investors, and showing how gradual increases in visitor numbers and spent by visitor will have a tangible effect on regional jobs and incomes.

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