Brazilian tourism suffered a big setback during 2020, but the sector is already looking forward to 2021. To find out what’s in store for the industry this year, O Tempo broadsheet asked key players to offer their thoughts. The majority expect a year of growth with consolidation of staycations in Brazil as well as holiday lets.
The year Brazilians discovered Brazil
More than anything else, 2020 was about staycations. And Brazil was no exception. “2020 was the year that the Brazilians discovered Brazil,” said Rafael Romero from FVO Tour Operator. He underlined that this trend is here to stay.
Romero also emphasised that 2020 was the year for holiday lets in Brazil. Families and groups of friends discovered that rental villas provided ideal holiday accommodation and according to Romero, this trend will also consolidate throughout this year.
Open air and nature
As well as holidaying in their own country, Brazilians also showed a preference for being outside and in nature. Simon Mayle, Director of the ILTM Fair in Latin America highlighted this trend.
He said he expects Brazilians to continue to enjoy destinations such as Ceará and Lençois. Mayle believes that Brazilian tourism will see the return of international visitors by the summer.
Higher occupancy for small destinations
The need for social distancing and fresh air has led to a rise in the preference for non-urban destinations and smaller resorts. Manoel Cardoso, President of the Brazilian Association of Hotels (Abih) said that he had noticed a marked rise in occupancy in hotels in small destinations during 2020.
Cardoso expects a slow but steady return for Brazilian tourism. However, like all the experts interviewed, he points out that much will depend on the vaccine. Patience will be key this year.
Good outlook for Brazilian tourism
Roberto Nedelciu shared his optimism about tourism in 2021. The President of Brazilian Tour Operators (Braztoa) says the outlook is good for this year.
“2021 has everything to be a year of growth,” he said. He expects this growth to be continued and sustainable as the year moves forward.
Stronger regional flight network
For his part, Eduardo Sanovicz, President of the Brazilian Association of Airlines (Abear), said that aviation needs strong public and private commitment in 2021. He expects to see the regional flight network in Brazil to strengthen throughout the year.
More domestic routes and higher frequency will boost staycations and support the domestic side of Brazilian tourism. “This will allow aviation to consolidate its contribution to social and economic development in Brazil,” Sanovicz said.
Northeast Brazil holiday favourite
While tourism figures fell in 2020, Northeast Brazil remained a firm favourite for holidays. A recent survey published by the online portal ViajaNet found that five of the top seven destinations were in the region.
Recife was the most popular destination to fly to between January and November last year with 3.3% of flight ticket sales. Salvador and Fortaleza stood in second and third places respectively.
Ceará tourism back on track
Ceará saw one of the biggest increases in tourism in the country in August last year. The state saw an uptick of 85.4%, four times higher than the national average.
Official occupancy figures are not yet available for Christmas and New Year. However, flight activity for Ceará points to a very busy season. Airports in the state received almost 1,000 flights during Christmas and the first week of January. 2021 is already looking good.
(Source: O Tempo, A Tarde)