Brazil continues to make headway in its bid to shine brighter and bigger on the international travel and tourism scene. Since the country celebrated the Olympic Games in 2016, the Brazilian tourism sector has gone from strength to strength. Two recent announcements are expected to boost it still further.
According to the World Tourism Organization, facilitating visas to visit country can increase visitor figures by 25%. In 2018, Brazil introduced electronic visas for several nationalities and saw a rise of over 35% in visa applications. This year, Brazilian tourism has gone one step further by removing visa requirements for four key nationalities.
As from 17 June this year, American, Australian, Canadian and Japanese visitors will no longer require a visa or have to pay a fee when they visit Brazil. They will be permitted to stay for 90 days, extendable to 180 days provided their total stay in the country doesn’t exceed 180 days a year. Tourist boards and authorities welcomed the move with open arms.
Boost to economy and jobs
“This is one of the most important achievements of the Brazilian tourism industry in the last 15 years,” said Marcelo Alvaro Antonio, Brazilian Tourism Minister. “We are confident that it will be extremely beneficial to the country.” He added that the move will boost tourism and the economy as well as creating jobs. “Everyone wins,” he said.
Embratur, the Brazilian tourist board, calculates that the removal of visa requirements for the four countries will have an impact of US$1 billion on the Brazilian economy. The measure should also boost visitor figures and ensure Brazil remains on track for its target of 12 million a year by 2022.
A further boost to Brazilian tourism came in the announcement by TAP Airlines of their Stopover Program. Due to start before July, the programme allows passengers to stopover at five Brazilian airports for up to five days before continuing their journey to another destination in the country. Participating airports include three in Northeast Brazil – Fortaleza Airport, Recife and Salvador – along with Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.
TAP introduced the programme in Portugal last year with great success – some 150,000 passengers benefitted from the stopovers. The company has high expectations for similar success in Brazil.
“The programme provides tourists with an opportunity to discover more destinations and to stay longer in the country,” said Teté Bezerra, President of Embratur, the Brazilian Tourist Board. “This is an important innovation for Brazilian tourism.”
Tourism authorities in all five chosen destinations also celebrated the Stopover Program. Arialdo Pinho, Secretary for Ceará Tourism said that it will attract more foreign tourists. “69% of passengers who arrive in Ceará are Europeans so this has huge potential,” he said. He also pointed out that Fortaleza Airport is one of the main gateways to Brazil for air travellers.
The TAP Stopover Program joins a similar scheme offered by Air France and KLM, who operate a major air hub from Fortaleza Airport. The hub has brought massive benefits to Ceará tourism since it commenced operations in May last year.
(Source: Ministry of Tourism, Travel Agent Central)