Brazil is set to register record tourism figures this year, both in numbers of international and domestic tourists. Northeast Brazil with Fortaleza at the helm continues to dominate destinations reflecting the preferences of the majority of tourists for beach holidays.
With the celebration of the FIFA World Cup, 2014 is widely expected to the year Brazilian tourism takes off and places the country firmly on the international tourist circuit. Recent figures for the first six months of the year issued by the Brazilian Ministry for Tourism in conjunction with the Brazilian airport authorities confirm these predictions.
In terms of air passengers, international visitor numbers increased by over 8 per cent with over 5 million foreigners choosing Brazil as a holiday destination between January and June this year. Domestic tourism also registered an important rise with 7 per cent more Brazilians (over 45 million) travelling by plane to their holiday location.
Unsurprisingly, the World Cup was a key factor in the rise in both international and domestic tourism with a 20 per cent rise in passengers in June. This figure is expected to be even higher once official figures for July are included. However, Brazil was registering high growth in tourism prior to the football tournament and January this year saw the absolute record in number of foreign arrivals with visitors just short of one million.
A survey carried out among foreigners during the World Cup clearly showed a preference for beach locations within Brazil. Nearly 80 per cent of foreigners interviewed said that their choice of destination was beach-based and as a result, World Cup host cities such as Fortaleza, Natal and Rio de Janeiro received some of the highest visitor figures.
Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará in Northeast Brazil, stood out among visitors as one of the most satisfactory destinations. The rating for hospitality in this city – famed for its welcoming people and atmosphere – was the second highest in Brazil (after Manaus). Almost all foreigners (91.8 per cent) who visited Ceará said they would return to the area for another holiday and nearly 80 per cent claimed the area had exceeded their expectations.
These highly favourable impressions were seconded by Brazilian visitors, dominated by those in the mid to high income bracket. The majority of Brazilians who travelled to Ceará for the World Cup had visited the area for a holiday previously, confirming the destination’s status as the preferred location for holidays within Brazil particularly among those who live in the southeast. Nearly half the Brazilians who travelled to Ceará visitors for the World Cup were from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
These statistics show that the celebration of the World Cup in Brazil has set some very solid foundations for tourism in the country as a whole and in Ceará in particular.
Source: Ministério do Tourismo, Brazil (Brazil’s Ministry for Tourism)