The recent Brazilian Tourism Market held in Ceará confirmed the appeal of Northeast Brazil to both national and international buyers. The number of meetings and volume of business reached record levels with big interest in the region from international markets. In separate but equally significant negotiations, the Port of Pécem in Ceará reached a landmark agreement with the Italian port of La Spezia.
Held between 28 and 31 May in Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará, the Brazilian Tourism Market (BNTM) exceeded all expectations. During the three days, business worth R$263 million was carried out, a 5 per cent increase on the previous year’s event, and nearly 4,000 meetings were held between buyers and suppliers. Both these results are the highest since the BNTM was launched as an annual event in 1992.
Speaking about the event’s success, Luciana Lobo from Ceará’s tourist board referred to the strength of Northeast Brazil as a tourist destination. “This is a challenging time economically in Brazil,” she said, “but the records set at this year’s BNTM show that Northeast Brazil is particularly strong.”
Among the buyers, interest was particularly high among foreigners. Brazilian buyers represented just 22 per cent of the total with Argentinians making up 11.4 per cent, those from the UK 8.7 per cent and US buyers accounting for 7.6 per cent. Some countries such as Hungary and Jamaica visited BNTM for the first time, a further sign that Northeast Brazil is increasingly making its mark on the international tourism circuit.
In separate negotiations, Italian and Ceará authorities reached a significant agreement for the Port of Pécem, just outside Fortaleza and one of the largest in this part of Brazil. Under the agreement, known as “The Sea of Ideas”, Pécem will be integrated within the European WiderMos platform led by the Italian port of La Spezia, near Genoa.
WiderMos connects European ports through sophisticated computer programs and facilitates their logistics. This allow ports to streamline all their business including loading and unloading cargo, and customs activities. La Spezia is one of the most modern in Europe and since it joined WiderMos platform, its activities have increased by 25 per cent.
Being part of WiderMos will allow Pécem increased access to Europe and is seen as the port’s first step to becoming Brazil’s gateway to Europe. “Northeast Brazil has very high future potential to produce and to transport cargo to the whole world,” said Angelo Bicciré, the Italian Consul in Recife, “and the port of La Spezia has particular interest in establishing a channel of communication between Europe and South America.”
As one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of marble, Italy has very interested in the marble and granite markets in Brazil. Ceará is the second largest producer in the country of marble, but has no processing facilities, an obstacle that Italian authorities believe could be overcome with the “Sea of Ideas” agreement. “The Port of Pécem could be a strategic port for shipping marble leading to it becoming an international marble hub,” said Claudio Vullo from the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Northeast Brazil.
Source: Governo do Estado do Ceará