Of the many industries entrepreneurs find difficult, the hospitality and touring industry is one that few can master. While building and opening a hotel may be easy, convincing people to visit in the first place is the challenge. In major cities and popular destinations, establishing tourist attractions isn’t hard.
Brazil is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, yet it wasn’t until Guilherme Paulus joined the touring industry that Brazil’s tourist season exploded. He found a way to capitalize on the many attractions and cultures of Brazilian cities that many overlooked.
Now, Guilherme Paulus is CEO of two of the nation’s largest touring and hospitality companies, CVC Brasil Operadora and GJP Hotels and Resorts. CVC was the first company Guilherme Paulus owned, co-founded with former State Deputy Carlos Vicente Cerchiari. Later, Paulus established GJP, which currently owns properties in Maceio, Recife, Salvador, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.
As both companies operate in different sectors of the industry, it’s hard to judge which is more successful. While GJP Hotels and Resorts owns more than 20 hotels and resorts across Brazil, CVC Brasil Operadora was the first major national domestic touring company.
For many reasons, most Brazilians view CVC as the more successful because it was the first domestic touring company. The idea came from Carlos Cerchiari, who met Paulus on a business cruise and explained his goal of one day opening a tourist agency in Santo Andre. Though Paulus had no real experience, he loved a challenge, and Cerchiari trusted him enough to go into business with him.
At the time, Guilherme Paulus was working at Casa Faro and had no money to invest in the new venture. Cerchiari funded the project until he was successful, which didn’t take long. Their first store shared a little street with a local cinema.
After the first four years, Cerchiari split from the company and left Paulus in control. From there, Paulus launched GJP Hotels and Resorts, opening his first hotel in 1995.