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International tourism in Brazil sets new record

2017 set a new record for tourism in Brazil when the country received the highest number of foreign tourists ever. Brazil registered higher figures than previous years when it hosted two of the world’s largest sporting events. 2017 turned out to be an excellent year for the tourist sector. And with the recent introduction of electronic visas for four large international markets, tourism in Brazil looks set for a bumper 2018.

Best ever figures for tourism in Brazil

In terms of the world’s most-visited countries such as France, Spain and the US, international visitors to Brazil are small. However, the country is keen to attract more tourists and judging by figures for 2017, promotion policies are paying off.

2017 was the best ever for international tourism in Brazil. A total of almost 6.59 million foreigners chose to take a holiday there. This figure is higher than 2014 and 2016 when Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games respectively. Both events catapulted Brazil onto the world stage.

Mostly South American visitors

Brazil’s neighbours made up the lion’s share of tourism in Brazil last year. They accounted for 62% of all international visitors and increased 11% to reach a total of 4.1 million. Next-door Argentina posted particularly good figures – the 2.6 million Argentinians who visited Brazil in 2017 represented 14% more than 2016.

Argentinians have Brazil on their doorstep and flock to the country in search of cheaper beach holidays. Visiting Brazil offers considerable savings compared to taking a holiday in their own country. The same applies to tourists from Chile. Chilean visitors to Brazil numbered 342,100 in 2017, up 5% on the previous year.

US visitors down and then up

The second largest group of foreigners visiting Brazil in 2017 was from the US. The total of 475,200 represented a fall of 7% on 2016 after the surge of American interest in the Olympics. However, this figure looks set to take an about-turn this year after the introduction of the electronic visa.

The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism introduced the so-called e-visa for four countries earlier this year. Citizens from Australia, Canada, Japan and the US can now apply for a visa online. Application time has been reduced from 40 days to around 72 hours.

Tourism in Brazil is already seeing very positive results. According to figures from the Ministry of Tourism, visa applications to Brazil in February and March rose by 48.2% with e-visas making up almost 73% of these. The biggest interest has come from US citizens. The Ministry expects the increase to inject more than US$16.4 million into the Brazilian tourism sector.

Most popular cities

Brazil’s financial capital, Sao Paulo, was by far the most popular destination in the country for foreign visitors in 2017. The city received almost one third of the total. In second place came Rio de Janeiro, with around a fifth of international tourists choosing the Cidade Maravilhosa for a holiday.

(Source: Brazilian Ministry of Tourism)

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