Tourism in Ceará stands poised to make a quantitative leap over the next ten years, both in terms of visitor figures and investment. More transport infrastructure and a vast hotel complex north of Fortaleza form part of major expansion plans in the state, already one of the Brazilians’ favourite holiday destinations.
Speaking to the press earlier in May, tourism authorities laid down their plans for tourism in Ceará during the next decade. Once all planned infrastructure is in place and state and national investment secured, they predict that visitor figures will increase by 50%.
Flights and airports to boost tourism in Ceará
Key to the increase in visitor figures, according to the Secretary of Tourism Alexandre Pereira, comes in the improvement of flights within Ceará. The state government has advanced plans to set up a network of domestic flights to make it easier for tourists to visit other parts of the state as well as Fortaleza.
Pereira believes that flights will begin operation in January next year, coinciding with the busiest season for holidays in Brazil, New Year and Carnival.
Earlier this year, Fortaleza Airport was bought by the German company Fraport, a move that Ceará government authorities described as “the most important achievement in Ceará over the last few years”. The Fraport take-over of Fortaleza Airport brings not only multi-million investment to the infrastructure, but considerable know-how. The company has Lufthansa behind it as well as vast experience in passenger and cargo traffic.
Jericoacoara Airport to open in June
Aviation officials have finally set a date for the opening of Jericoacoara Airport. It will open officially on 24 June, although the first flights will not become operational until the beginning of July. The airport will boost tourism in Ceará, particularly in the north of the state, and serve as an alternative airport for tourists visiting the northern beaches.
Azul airlines have announced domestic flights between Jericoacoara and Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Recife. Another Brazilian airline, Gol, will operate flights to Sao Paulo from Jericoacoara.
Tourism in Ceará to shift focus
The overall aim is to decentralise tourism in Fortaleza and move its focus to other areas. Favoured destinations include the northern coast, home to some of the best beaches in Northeast Brazil. Some have a world famous reputation such as Jericoacoara while others, for example, Paracuru and Guajirú, are just starting to make a name for themselves on the Brazilian tourism radar.
The recent announcement of a vast hotel and theme park complex in Paracuru will undoubtedly add to the appeal of beaches to the north of Fortaleza. Dunas do Paracuru, will be located in just under 700 hectares of prime beach land near Paracuru, about 100km to the north of Fortaleza. It will include a theme park and two hotels with capacity for 5,100 guests. With an investment of R$668.5 million, Dunas do Paracuru will create around 15,000 direct jobs.
“Since our initial investment at The Coral, we have seen a shift in tourism in Ceará away from Fortaleza and towards the lesser-known beaches,” says Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “The new airport at Jericoacoara and major projects along the coast will undoubtedly shift it still further, boosting the potential for tourism in resorts in this area.”
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: Diario do Nordeste, O Povo)