When discussing the growth of the tourism industry in Brazil and in Latin America, Guilherme Paulus is a name that always stands out, due to his role in expanding the business. Paulus co-founded CVC Brasil Operadora in 1972 at the age of 24, alongside Carlos Vicente Cerchiari – a state deputy who exited the company 4 years into its existence. As a result of the work that Guilherme Paulus put into it, the small Brazilian company turned into the largest tourism operator in Latin America.
The company brings every year revenues of $5.2 billion, a number which is constantly increasing. Currently, Guilherme Paulus owns 8% of the company, after he sold the majority of CVC to Carlyle Group for the price of approximately $750 million. Despite that, he is still involved in the company’s operations and is currently set on establishing new CVC stores across the country of Brazil, especially in less populated areas – with less than 50 thousands citizen – in order to attract new clients. The plan is to reach a total of 2000 CVC stores by the year 2020.
Beside his highly successful company, Guilherme Paulus ventured into other areas of tourism as well. In 2006 he bough Webjet. A small airline with a single airplane, he managed to transform Webjet into the third largest airline of Brazil with 20 airplanes and airlines located in 20 cities, before ultimately selling the company in 2011 to GOL. Additionally, he founded GJP Hotels & Resorts in 2005, which became a large hotel chain. Due to his work at GJP, Guilherme Paulus was elected Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, as a result of spending approximately $600 million from his own pocket to build brand new hotels throughout the country. The rapid expansion also helped create 1.9 thousands job opportunities for Brazilians.
When talking about strategies which helped him grow his businesses, he mentions chartering flights during the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, during the 1990s he states that they dared to buy 100,000 seats in VASP, which were to be sold in 1 year. Their action attracted a lot of attention and they managed to sell in 8 months.