Domestic tourism in Brazil is undoubtedly the driving force behind the industry. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, this is the case in most countries. The institution makes the strong case for promoting domestic tourism, an initiative that the Brazilian authorities are keen to take on board.
Figures presented by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) show that domestic tourism contributes the lion’s share of the sector. For every US$10 spent on tourism, over 7 of these come from domestic visitors. This is the case in all but 3 of the world’s 12 tourism regions. In Latin America, domestic tourism accounts for over 82 per cent of spending.
Advantages of domestic tourism
For the WTTC, domestic tourism comes with several key advantages. One of these is the reduction of seasonality. International tourists tend to travel at certain times of year, for example, during August and at Christmas. This isn’t the case with domestic tourism which according to the WTTC “has a special role in sustaining and developing the industry”.
Domestic visitors take a holiday at different times of year, particularly to those destinations with good year-round climates. This is the case with domestic tourism in Brazil where the Northeast of the country receives Brazilian nationals throughout the year thanks to the almost guaranteed sunshine and warm temperatures.
Domestic tourism is also better distributed. International visitors travel mostly to key destinations within a country – in Brazil, the most-visited destinations by foreign tourists are Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the Amazon. However, Brazilians themselves favour many more places giving a bigger spread to tourism.
In Brazil, the most popular holiday destination is the Northeast region. The latest monthly survey (January) on preferred holiday spots found that 48 per cent of Brazilians favoured Northeast Brazil with the South in second place with just 26.2 per cent.
Domestic tourism in Brazil
In the case of Brazil, domestic tourism is hugely important. “Tourism is a major driver of 52 other areas, either directly or indirectly,” said Alexandre Sampaio, President of the Brazilian Federation of Hospitality (FBHA in Brazilian). “In most cities, the tertiary sector is driven by the tourist flow.”
Certain events have extra impact on domestic tourism in Brazil. Carnival is one of them and this year’s saw an important increase in visitor figures and spending. For example, in Bahia (one of the most popular destinations for Carnival in Brazil), over 600,000 people visited the city, a 9 per cent increase on last year. Just one tenth of them were foreigners. In Ceará, Northeast Brazil, the revenue from Carnival (mostly from Brazilians) rose by 10 per cent this year.
More domestic tourism in Brazil
Similarly long weekends inject billions into the economy every year as Brazilians travel within their own country. The Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies (ABAV) expects this to total RS$21 billion this year when the demand for leisure travel will grow between 8 and 14 per cent.
The ABAV President Edmar Bull highlights the importance of how domestic tourism in Brazil avoids seasonality. “One of the advantages of the spread occupation throughout the year is the greater balance in supply and demand, which directly impacts the rates for flights and hotels,” he said in a Brazilian Ministry of Tourism press release. He added that this year “Brazilians will be able to travel more”.
According to the latest holiday survey, national destinations are by far preferred by Brazilians. Almost 80 per cent of Brazilians said they planned to travel within Brazil over the next six months, a figure that more than underlines the importance of domestic tourism.
“Domestic tourism in Brazil is a hugely important factor when looking at property investment in the country,” says Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “The fact that Northeast Brazil continually stands out as the favourite holiday destination boosts demand for property in preferred areas.”
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: WTTC, Brazilian Ministry of Tourism)