How to open a pousada or hotel in Brazil

Inn pousadas in Brazil.A dream of many Brazilians and foreigners, opening an inn on the beach or in the mountains of Brazil to live in a peaceful and tranquil place is a big investment of money and time. The entrepreneur also needs to prepare for heavy maintenance costs, low profit, full dedication and truth is, many of the beautiful parts of Brazil are not that peaceful anymore.

Pousadas, the name for an “inn” in Brazil is a hosting option for those looking for more affordable options outside the major centers. The facilities, simpler equipment and services, make the pousada a great choice for those looking for the warmth of family, food and leisure.

The definition of a pousada is an establishment that is characterized by having up to thirty (30) housing units or capacity to serve about 70 guests. In general the hotels serve breakfast which is already included in the daily rate and snacks such as sandwiches, pastries and soft drinks.

Pousadas specialize in exploring the possibilities of the region where they are located, such as historical elements, extreme sports, typical fruits, traditional cuisine, beach recreation or leisure mountain, farm environment, climate of the mountains, etc.

To start from scratch, one needs to have at least R$ 1 million, which will be applied in the purchase of land, construction, equipment and furniture, manpower training, formalizing the company and marketing expenses. The potential for revenue of this type of business can be considered low because the leisure hotels operate with a third of annual occupancy on average. For an inn with 20 suites, for example, the maintenance costs can range from R$ 20,000 to R$ 25,000 and the monthly average profit is around R$ 15 thousand.

To find out the potential revenue of an inn, multiply the average daily rate by the number of available daily in the month (which varies with the number of rooms). As the average occupancy of hotels is a third, divide the value obtained for three to find out the potential revenue.

For example, an inn with a daily average rate of R$ 200 and 20 suites will have 600 dailies available in the month, has a maximum monthly income of R$ 120 thousand. Dividing this figure by three to arrive at the average gross revenues of R$ 40 thousand.

To reach the average profit, subtract operating costs. For an inn of this size, with at least seven employees, it is R$ 20,000 to R$ 25,000 per month. Subtract further R$ 10 thousand to go to other debt expenses, unforeseen expenses or reserve fund. The average income is around R$ 15 thousand.

Lodges oriented to seniors are up in Brazil now. These people have guaranteed monthly income and few expenses, week with free days and willingness to travel and enjoy life. In addition, the Brazilian population is getting older.

Choosing the location can define business success
Paraty is a city with an event calendar that spans the entire year, which increases the occupancy of hotels and helps to balance the accounts between high and low season. According to a Brazilian expert, the choice of location makes all the difference to the success of the business. “Tourists do not travel to stay. They stay somewhere depending on the trip, so the more attractive the place has, the better.”

As seasonality is a factor that affects the finances of this type of business, it is important that the site receives tourists also out of season. “Look for destinations where the traveler stay time is greater, which has events calendar, tourist infrastructure with tours, restaurants and hospitals.

The ideal place is also the one who awakens the desire to return. It is also interesting that the tourist does not exhaust the site on the first trip, he has to want to come back to learn more.

Pousadas for sale in Brazil.

Liking people is key
Investing in a niche, differentiated services, partnerships, exchanges and sponsorships are ways to increase occupancy during the year. Besides making a marketing, the entrepreneur has to like to receive people and being present in the business.

Defining the customer segment being served is key to business success. Lodges oriented to seniors are up in Brazil now. These people have guaranteed monthly income and few expenses, week with free days and willingness to travel and enjoy life. In addition, the Brazilian population is getting older.

Training employees
Finding good people is the main difficulty of the owners of inns in Brazil, but despite the high staff turnover in the segment, it is important to invest in this area. The problem is not only technical training, but education. The employee has to learn to behave, write and speak correctly, specially foreign languages and that in some regions of Brazil is quite hard.


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Max Francisco
Max Francisco has been involved with the Internet in Brazil and has been doing digital projects in the country for the last 15 years.