Brazilian tourism is enjoying one of its best years ever. After the successful Olympic Games in the summer, the country is experiencing a boom in visitor figures and spending. Government investment in infrastructure is paying off and everything points to an excellent 2016 for the sector.
Excellent Year for Tourism
Brazilian tourism has enjoyed a booming year, boosted by the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, an event that placed Brazil and its tourist attractions firmly in the international spotlight. So far this year, foreign spending and visitor figures have seen a rise compared to last year.
This is reflected in companies working in the tourism sector. A recent survey pointed to the buoyant state of tourism in Brazil – in Q3 this year, 66 per cent of companies working in the tourism sector reported growth in their business compared to Q3 2015. When it comes to airline companies, 100 per cent claimed that they saw an increase. Between July and September this year, Brazilian tourism companies took a total of R$8.8 billion.
Brazilian Tourism Investment
In the light of the success of the Rio Olympic Games, the Brazilian Tourism Ministry is keen to keep the impetus going and to continue to attract foreign visitors. The Ministry has invested in a total of 1,052 projects around the country designed specifically to improve tourism infrastructure and enhance the visitor experience.
Investment has totalled R$571.6 million with projects completed country-wide. The state of Ceará has seen 88 finished works, which include the new fish market in Fortaleza, designed specifically to promote local gastronomy among tourists, both foreign and Brazilian.
“We want Brazilians to travel more and more in their own country and to do this we need to guarantee infrastructure so they can do this,” said the Minister of Tourism, Marx Beltrao, commenting on the investment figures. “We need to reinforce domestic tourism in its many forms – business, leisure, ecological, sport, cultural and religious.”
Cruise Season Starts
One of the lesser known mainstays of Brazilian tourism is the cruise sector. The 2016/2017 season has just started and the industry expects nearly 382,000 Brazilian cruise passengers between late November and mid-April. This figure does not take into account foreign cruise passengers, expected to increase as Brazilian ports become more sought-after stopovers.
Cruise holidays have increased in popularity among Brazilians over the last few years, particularly luxury cruises. Typically this sort of cruise takes place during high season – carnival cruises are especially in demand – and includes several key carnival destinations such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Fortaleza. Booking for luxury cruises in Brazil have risen by 8 per cent so far this year.
The cruise season 2015/16 had an economic impact of R$1.9 billion, a figure that is forecast to rise during this season. Spending among cruise passengers rose markedly last year including the amount they spent on accommodation before and after their cruise, which went up by 9.5 per cent.
Fortaleza Port Popular
One of the main ports of call for both international and Brazilian cruise ships is Fortaleza. Government investment in improvements in the passenger terminal totalled R$184 million in 2014. During this year, when Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup, upgrades were carried out to cater for the increase in passengers arriving for the football games held in the city. Since them, passenger figures have steadily increased and Fortaleza Port is set to receive a total of 19 ships this year.
“Although Brazil still has a relatively small tourist industry, it’s definitely growing in leaps and bounds,” comments Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “And it’s interesting to see how lesser-known destinations such as Fortaleza are gradually making their mark. We expect to see an exponential rise in their popularity over the next few years.”
An investment company specialising in global real estate opportunities, BRIC Group is currently developing The Coral resort, in Northeast Brazil, a luxury beachfront resort. BRIC Group also offers US real estate investments including turnkey properties in Florida and Houston, and land plots in Florida. BRIC Group has been creating wealth for its clients since 1996 and has offices in Brazil, Dubai (consulting office), Hungary, Spain and the US.
(Sources: Brazilian Tourism Ministry, Fortaleza Port, FGV)