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Brazilian tourism relies heavily on the domestic market and this sector is expected to become even more important in the short-term. With international travel practically at a standstill, Brazil must now look, more than ever, at Brazilian travellers themselves.

Brazilian tourism goes local

The vast majority of Brazilians choose to holiday in their own country. In fact, in 2019, domestic travel accounted for 90% of trips undertaken by Brazilians. And most opt for destinations in the northeast and south of the country.
In the light of the covid-19 crisis with international travel virtually non-existent, staycations are more important than ever before. “The value of internal tourism will undoubtedly be a vital pillar,” the Minister for Tourism, Marcelo Álvaro Antonio, said in May. He believes that staycations will come into their own in 2020 as “Brazil realises its full potential”.

Postponed rather than cancelled travel

From the very beginning of the covid-19 crisis, the Brazilian tourism sector has put the emphasis on postponing a holiday rather than cancelling it. The campaign “Don’t Cancel: Rebook” has been very successful with companies from all sectors reporting a high incidence of re-bookings or travel voucher requests rather than refunds.
According to Brazilian airlines, between 85% and 87% of passengers have changed their flights rather than ask for a refund. Travel agents report similar figures for hotels, excursions and holiday packages.

Date for renewed domestic travel

But the most pressing question for Brazilian holidaymakers is when can they travel again? Companies within the sector offer different dates. The Brazilian Hotel Operators Associations (FOHB in Brazilian) says that many hotels are preparing to reopen from July. This is the case in Fortaleza, for example.
The CVC, one of the largest travel agencies in Brazil, points to October, however, as the new start of the domestic tourist season. The portal reports busy search activity for holidays in the autumn and up to February next year.
For their part, the main airlines have yet to fix dates for the renewal of domestic flight activity. Latam Airlines Brasil is currently offering flights for the second half of the year, but other big players such as Gol have yet to launch the sale of tickets.

Most popular destinations

Although the date for domestic tourism to get back on track may be unknown, the places people will want to go to remain unchanged. Skyscanner searches reveal that the most sought-after destinations in Brazil for this summer are Sao Paulo, Recife, Brasilia and Fortaleza. Northeast Brazil regularly tops the rankings as a national favourite.
Experts in Brazilian tourism also believe that domestic travellers will be looking for nature and open spaces. Brazil has an abundance of national parks with stunning scenery. And a long coastline with some of the best beaches in the world. These will be the most desired places for a holiday.

Staycation boosts investment potential

This trend to travel within Brazil and to open spaces will favour locations that offer peace and quiet. One of them is The Coral resort on the beach at Guajirú in Ceará in Northeast Brazil. Boasting over 1 million square metres of nature, the resort also sits on one of the quietest beaches in this part of Brazil.
In addition, Fortaleza Airport offers a wide range of domestic flights from Brazil’s main cities. This facilitates access to The Coral and this stretch of the coastline. At BRIC Group, we expect to see a big rise in Brazilian visitors to the area as more holidaymakers discover the value of a staycation in Ceará.
(Source: Brasil Turis)

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