Foreign visitor figures to Ceará in the first six months of this year were the highest ever, consolidating the area’s reputation as one of the best places to holiday in Northeast Brazil. European holidaymakers dominate the figures while holiday lets continue their steady rise in popularity.
Statistics just released by the Ceará tourist department have confirmed the rise in tourism in Ceará. During the first six months of this year, Ceará welcomed 21 per cent more foreign tourists than the same period in 2014. Some 74,400 foreigners took a holiday in Ceará from January to July this year compared to around 61,500 last year.
This rise is particularly relevant after last year’s sharp increase in tourism on the back of the FIFA World Cup tournament matches celebrated in Fortaleza. Many of those who visited Ceará for the football championship expressed the desire to return to the area in the future and the excellent figures for this year confirm that Ceará is now placed firmly on the international holiday circuit.
More arrivals by sea and air
Fortaleza International Airport received 16 per cent more visitors in the first six months of this year with just over half the passengers arriving on direct flights. These have increased in availability this year and now include Argentina, Colombia, Cape Verde, Italy, Portugal and the US. Other international passengers reached Ceará via connecting flights from the most important airports in Brazil such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Cruise traffic rose dramatically with 69 per cent more foreigners arriving in Fortaleza via sea. The port received four large cruise ships during the first half of this year and another four cruise giants are expected in the autumn as more and more cruise companies add Northeast Brazil to their cruising itineraries.
Foreign tourist profile
According to the Ceará tourist department, foreign visitors to this part of Northeast Brazil are predominantly European. Italians and Portuguese account for nearly 40 per cent of the total between them, followed by Germans (8 per cent) and French tourists (7.4 per cent).
Foreigners stay for an average of seven days on holiday in Fortaleza and surrounding areas, and spend just over R$3,020 during this time. The majority (71.6 per cent) choose hotel accommodation, although the percentage opting to stay with families or in holiday lets in Ceará continues to rise, confirming the advent of self-catering accommodation in this part of Brazil.
Along with the increase in figures, tourism authorities pinpoint the high level of satisfaction among foreigners visiting Ceará. According to statistics, 62 per cent of international visitors say that Ceará exceeded their initial expectations. Nearly 80 per cent of foreigners chose this part of Northeast Brazil as their first choice destination.
Attracting Brazilian tourism
Ceará continues to raise its profile among Brazilians looking for holiday destinations. The latest edition of Tourism Week, an event run by Braztoa (the Brazilian Association of Tour Operators, responsible for 90 per cent of Brazilian holiday packages), was dedicated entirely to Northeast Brazil. According to the Tourism Secretary in Ceará Arialdo Pinho, the week’s promotion should lead to excellent returns for tourism in Ceará.
Braztoa calculates that the economic impact of holiday packages in Northeast Brazil runs to R$6.3 billion a year – R$3.9 billion directly through holiday sales and R$2.4 billion through spending in the region by the holidaymakers themselves. “Northeast Brazil is the market leader for holidays among Brazilians and represents over 54 per cent of the entire national holiday sector,” said the President of Braztoa, Magda Nassar.
Source: Governo do Estado do Ceará