Proof that the world’s key sporting events are a major generator of tourism comes in the latest statistics for international tourism in Brazil in 2014. Foreign visitors to the country last year increased by over 10 per cent to exceed the 6 million mark, a rise attributed largely to the FIFA World Cup tournament. A recent government survey has revealed that Brazilians have big travel plans this year with Northeast Brazil featuring as the preferred destination.
Breaking the 6-million barrier
The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism has just published figures for international tourism in 2014. According to official statistics, over 6.4 million foreigners visited Brazil last year, a 10.6 per cent increase on 2013. The 2014 data also marks the first time that tourism in Brazil has gone beyond the 6 million mark.
Top of the nationalities who chose a Brazil holiday last year were the Argentinians who accounted for around 27 per cent of the total. Americans made up the next largest group with 656,801 tourists followed by visitors from Chile. The vast majority of international visitors (70.6 per cent) travelled by air into Brazil.
Brazil’s economic capital Sao Paulo continues to rank as the most popular entry point with over a third of foreigners flying into this airport. Rio de Janeiro airport showed spectacular growth in terms of numbers of international visitors – the nearly 390,000 foreigners who arrived there last year translates to an increase of 32.2 per cent compared to 2013 figures.
World Cup results
The FIFA World Cup held at destinations throughout Brazil is the main reason for the spectacular rise in tourism in Brazil last year. Official statistics show that visitors during June when the football tournament started rose by over 2 million compared to those in June 2013.
In World Cup host cities, the June increases were particularly pronounced. For example, international tourists to Ceará in Northeast Brazil almost doubled in June last year, rising from 4,980 in 2013 to 9,717 in 2014. Brazilian officials are confident that next year’s Olympic Games hosted by Rio de Janeiro will set another record for international tourism in Brazil.
Travel to Northeast Brazil
Brazilians themselves make up an important part of the country’s tourist revenue and the latest monthly survey by the Ministry of Tourism shows promising figures for the next six months. In the June survey, 73.3 per cent of those interviewed expressed the intention to take at least one holiday in Brazil by the end of the year. This is the highest figure for June since 2011.
Northeast Brazil featured as the preferred destination within Brazil with 43.2 per cent of Brazilians choosing this region for their planned holiday. The Southeast of the country is the second preference, although with a considerably smaller number of Brazilians (26.2 per cent) opting for this area. Northeast Brazil consistently takes the lion’s share in the monthly survey.
Source: Brazilian Ministry of Tourism