Ceará tourism continues to enjoy a record year for tourism. Latest figures for the cruise season rank as the highest ever with the best numbers for both visitors and cruise ships. Good news is also on the horizon for Fortaleza Airport with negotiations for more international flights well advanced.
The 2016-2017 cruise season has just finished in Brazil with Ceará featuring as one of the areas with the best figures. The first three months of this year alone registered higher cruise ship passengers than the whole of 2016.
Some 8,625 cruise tourists visited Ceará between January and March. The last ship of the season to dock at Fortaleza was the MSC Preziosa whose 3,400 passengers enjoyed the day in the city and surrounding area at the end of March.
More ships in 2017-2018
The new season starts in October and so far, ten cruise ships are due to visit Ceará on their route, although the Ceará tourism authorities are keen to attract more. According to the Secretary of Tourism, Arialdo Pinho, one of their top priorities is to bring more cruise tourism to the area. Talks are currently taking place in London with Cunard in the bid to include Ceará on the cruise company’s itineraries.
“We have one big advantage because stopping off at Fortaleza involves no change of route,” said Pinho at a press conference in Fortaleza. “We’re on the route for cruise ships coming from the US and Europe for South America. In addition, we’re a convenient stop for ships sailing from the south towards the Amazon.”
More flights at Fortaleza Airport in 2017
Not only is Ceará tourism growing by sea. Fortaleza Airport too looks to increase its passenger traffic with more international flights. Negotiations are well underway with Copa Airlines to start two weekly flights between Fortaleza Airport and Panama City.
Panama City ranks as one of the largest airports in the region and acts as a transport hub for the Americas. Flights from the airport go to 31 countries and 74 cities. A flight between Panama City Airport and Fortaleza would not only open up Central America to Ceará but give the region convenient access to a far wider audience. In addition, Brazilian tourists from Ceará would have the chance to travel more easily to Mexico, the US and Canada.
Fortaleza Airport currently runs international flights to eight countries. These include Lisbon (operated by TAP), Frankfurt (Condor) and Milan (Meridiana) in Europe. Flights are available to Buenos Aires and Bogotá in South America plus Cayena in French Guinea. TAM operates a flight to Miami and TACV runs services to Cape Verde.
Foreigners currently make up a small part of Ceará tourism – around 10 per cent of all visitors to the region are from outside Brazil. However, the market continues to grow as Ceará and Fortaleza gradually make their mark on the international tourism circuit.
“The growth in Ceará tourism has been little short of spectacular over the last few years,” says Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “We welcome the news of more cruise ships and particularly more flights to the region. These will allow more foreigners to discover this beautiful part of Brazil, currently a well-kept secret among Brazilians.”
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.
(Source: Ceará Tourism)