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Tourism in Brazil

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Tourism in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, the most visited destination in Brazil by foreign tourists for leisure trips, and second place for business travel.

Tourism in Brazil is a growing sector and key to the economy of several regions of the country. The country had 5.7 million visitors in 2012, ranking in terms of the international tourist arrivals as the first main destination in South America, and second in Latin America after Mexico. Revenues from international tourists reached US$6.6 billion in 2012, continuing a recovery trend from the 2008-2009 economic crisis.[1]

Brazil offers for both domestic and international tourists an ample gamut of options, with natural areas being its most popular tourism product, a combination of ecotourism with leisure and recreation, mainly sun and beach, and adventure travel, as well as historic and cultural tourism. Among the most popular destinations are the Amazon Rainforest, beaches and dunes in the Northeast Region, the Pantanal in the Center-West Region, beaches at Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, cultural and historic tourism in Minas Gerais and business trips to São Paulo city.[2]

In terms of the 2013 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which is a measurement of the factors that make it attractive to develop business in the travel and tourism industry of individual countries, Brazil ranked in the 51st place at the world's level, fourth among Latin American countries after Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica, and seventh in the Americas.[3] Brazil main competitive advantages are its natural resources, which ranked 1st on this criteria out of all countries considered, and ranked 23rd for its cultural resources, due to its many World Heritage sites. The 2013 TTCI report also notes Brazil's main weaknesses: its ground transport infrastructure remains underdeveloped (ranked 129th), with the quality of roads ranking in the 121st place, and quality of air transport infrastructure in 131st; and the country continues to suffer from a lack of price competitiveness (ranked 126th), due in part to high and increasing ticket taxes and airport charges, as well as high and rising prices more generally. Safety and security have improved significantly, ranking in the 73rd place in 2013, up from the 128th position in 2008.[3]

International tourism

Historical international tourism arrivals
Year International
1995[4][5] 1,991 - 972 -
2000[4][5] 5,313 - 1,810 -
2003[4][5] 4,133 - 2,479 -
2004[4][5] 4,794 16.0 3,222 30.0
2005[6] 5,358 11.8 3,861 19.8
2006[6] 5,019 -6.3 4,316 1.1
2007[7][8] 5,025 0.1 4,953 14.8
2008[9][10] 5,050 0.5 5,780 16.7
2009[11] 4,802 -4.9 5,305 -8.2
2010[1][12] 5,161 7.5 5,702 7.5
2011[1] 5,433 5.3 6,555 14.9
2012[1] 5,677 4.5 6,645 1.3
Salvador, capital of Bahia state, is the center of Afro-Brazilian culture, and one of the top destinations by Brazilian nationals and international tourists.
Iguazu Falls, Paraná, in Brazil-Argentina border, is the second most popular destination for foreign tourists who come to Brazil for pleasure.
The colonial city of Ouro Preto, a World Heritage Site, is one of the most popular destinations in Minas Gerais.

According to the [6][9][13][14] In spite of this trend, revenues from international tourism continued to rise, from USD 3.9 billion in 2005 to USD 4.9 billion in 2007, a one billion dollar increase despite 333 thousand less arrivals. This favorable trend is the result of the strong devaluation of the American dollar against the Brazilian real, which began in 2004, but on the other hand, making Brazil a more expensive international destination.[15] This trend changed in 2009, when both visitors and revenues fell as a result of the 2008-2009 economic crisis.[11] By 2010 the industry recovered, and arrivals grew above 2006 levels to 5.16 million international visitors, and receipts from these visitors reached USD 5.9 billion.[12] In 2012 the historical record was reached with 5.6 million visitors and US$6.6 billion in receipts.[1]

Despite continuing record breaking of international tourism revenues, the number of Brazilian tourists travelling overseas has been growing steadily since 2003, resulting in a net negative foreign exchange balance, as more money is spent abroad by Brazilian than receipts from international tourist visiting Brazil. Tourism expenditures abroad grew from USD 5.76 billion in 2006, to USD 8.21 billion in 2007, a 42,45% increase, representing a net deficit of USD 3.26 billion in 2007, as compared to USD 1.45 billion in 2006, a 125% increase from the previous year.[16] This trend is caused by Brazilians taking advantage of the stronger Real to travel and making relatively cheaper expenditures abroad.[16] Brazilian traveling overseas in 2006 represented 3.9% of the country's population.[17]

In 2005, tourism contributed with 3.2% of the country's revenues from exports of goods and services, and represented 7% of direct and indirect employment in the Brazilian economy.[18] In 2006 direct employment in the sector reached 1.87 million people.[19] Domestic tourism is a fundamental market segment for the industry, as 51 million traveled throughout the country in 2005,[20] and direct revenues from Brazilian tourists reached USD 21.8 billion,[21] 5.6 times more receipts than international tourists in 2005.

In 2005, Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu, São Paulo, Florianópolis and Salvador were the most visited cities by international tourists for leisure trips. The most popular destinations for business trips were São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre.[22] In 2006 Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza were the most popular destinations by national visitors.[23]

Main destinations visited by international tourists in 2013[24]Top 15 ranking by number of visitors
Destination State
1st Rio de Janeiro RJ
2nd São Paulo SP
3rd Foz do Iguaçu PR
4th Salvador BA
5th Brasília DF
6th Porto Alegre RS
7th Búzios RJ
8th Manaus AM
9th Florianópolis SC
10th Fortaleza CE
11th Belo Horizonte MG
12th Curitiba PR
13th Natal RN
14th Recife PE
15th Campinas SP

Arrivals by country of origin

Most international visitors in 2012 came from Argentina (29.4%) and the United States (10.3%). In terms of region of origin, most international visitors came from neighboring South American countries with 2,822,519 visitor (49.7%), mainly from Mercosul.[25] Top international arrivals by country of origin for 2012 are presented in the following table:

Top 20 visitor arrivals to Brazil by country of origin in 2012[25]
Ranking Country
of origin
% Total
Ranking Country
of origin
% Total
1  Argentina 1.671.604 29.4% 11  England 155,548 2.7%
2  United States 586,463 10.3% 12  Bolivia 112,639 2.0%
3  Germany 258,437 4.6% 13  Colombia 100,324 1.8%
4  Uruguay 253,864 4.5% 14  Peru 91,996 1.6%
5  Chile 250,586 4.4% 15  Netherlands 73.133 1.3%
6  Paraguay 246,401 4.3% 16  Japan 73.102 1.3%
7  Italy 230,114 4.1% 17   Switzerland 69.571 1.2%
8  France 218,626 3.9% 18  Canada 68.462 1.2%
9  Spain 180,406 3.2% 19  China 65.945 1.2%
10  Portugal 168,649 3.0% 20  Mexico 61.658 1.1%
Visitor arrivals by region of origin in 2012 (Top 4)
1 South America 2,822,519 49.7% 3 North America 716,583 12.6%
2 Europe 1,652,205 29.1% 4 Asia 297,032 5.2%

Comparison with other Latin American destinations

The following is a comparative summary of Brazil's tourism industry key performance indicators as compared with countries considered among the most popular destinations in Latin America, and relevant economic indicators are included to show the relative importance that international tourism has on the economy of the selected countries.

Caribbean and
Latin American
(col 2)/(col 1)
per 1000 pop.
as %
of exports
goods and
as %
% Direct &
in tourism[3][18]
 Argentina 5,599 4,895 874 115 57 7.4 10.5 9.9 61 4.17
 Brazil 5,677 6,645 1,170 26 18 3.2 8.9 8.1 51 4.37
 Chile 3,554 2,201 619 151 73 5.3 8.4 8.0 56 4.29
 Colombia 2,175 2,351 1,081 26 25 6.6 5.1 5.5 84 3.90
 Costa Rica 2,343 2,425 1,035 442 343 17.5 12.5 11.7 47 4.44
 Cuba(1) 2,688 2,283 849 188 169 n/d n/d n/d n/d n/d
 Dominican Republic 4,563 4,549 997 408 353 36.2 14.7 13.6 86 3.88
 Jamaica 1,986 2,043 1,029 628 530 49.2 25.7 23.8 67 4.08
 Mexico 23,403 12,739 544 201 103 5.7 12.4 13.7 44 4.46
 Panama 1,606 2,259 1,406 330 211 10.6 10.1 9.6 37 4.54
 Peru 2,846 2,657 933 65 41 9.0 9.1 7.8 73 4.00
 Uruguay 2,695 2,076 770 525 145 14.2 10.2 9.7 59 4.23
  • Notes: Green shadow denotes the country with the top indicator. Yellow shadow corresponds to Brazilian indicators.
    (1) Visitors and receipts for Cuba correspond to 2011..

Tourist visa

Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro.

Tourist visa requirements have been waived for citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Malta, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Tourist visas also applies to [27]

Paleontological Tourism

Tourism in Paleorrota Geopark

Geopark Paleorrota is the main area of geotourism in Rio Grande do Sul and one of the most important in Brazil. With 83,000 km² inside 281,000 km² of the state, where many fossils of the Permian and Triassic period, with ages ranging between 210 and 290 million years ago, when there were only the continent Pangaea.

In the region Metropolitan Porto Alegre there are 5 museums to visit. In Paleorrota Geopark there are 7 museums, the Palaeobotanical Garden in Mata and the Paleontological Sites of Santa Maria to be visited. The BR-287, nicknamed Highway of Dinosaurs, crosses 17 of 41 municipalities of the geopark.

Domestic tourism

Amazon Rainforest in Manaus, is a popular ecotourism destination.

Domestic tourism is a key market segment for the tourism industry in Brazil. In 2005, 51 million Brazilian nationals[20] made ten times more trips than foreign tourists and spent five times more money than their international counterparts. The main destination states in 2005 were São Paulo (27.7%), Minas Gerais (10.8%), Rio de Janeiro (8.4%), Bahia (7.4%) and Santa Catarina (7.2%). The top three states by trip origin were São Paulo (35.7%), Minas Gerais (13.6%) and Rio de Janeiro (8.2%).[20]

In terms of tourism revenues, the top earners by state were São Paulo (16.4%) and Bahia (11.7%). For 2005 the three main trip purposes were visiting friends and family (53.1%), sun and beach (40.8%), and cultural tourism (12.5%).[17]

Tourism by regions of Brazil

Southeast Region

Santinho Beach, at Santa Catarina island, Florianópolis. The beaches in Santa Catarina's littoral are one of the main destination for Argentine tourists.
Snorkeling in the city of Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul. The rivers in the region are known for their crystal clear waters.

Southern Region

Center-West Region

Northeast Region

North Region

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2013 Edition".   pp. 10
  2. ^ Guilherme Lohmann Palhares (2012). Tourism in Brazil: Environment, Management and Segments. Routledge. p. 126.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jennifer Blanke and Thea Chiesa, Editors (2013). "Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013".   See Table 4, pp. 18-19 and Country/Economy Profile: Brazil, pp. 116-117.
  4. ^ a b c d World Tourism Organization (2005). "Tourism Market Trends, Annex 5, 2005 Edition". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  5. ^ a b c d e World Tourism Organization (2006). "Tourism Market Trends, Annex 12, 2006 Edition". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  6. ^ a b c World Tourism Organization (2007). "UNWTO Tourism Highlights, Edition 2007". UNWTO. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  7. ^ EMBRATUR (2008). "Principais Emissores de Turistas para o Brasil 2006-2007" (in Portuguese). Ministério de Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  8. ^ Facultade Getúlio Vargas (2008). "Boletim de Desempenho Econômico do Turismo" (in Portuguese). Ministério de Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-19.  Janeiro 2008, Ano v, nº 17, pp. 2
  9. ^ a b EMBRATUR (2009). "Anuário Estatístico de Turismo 2009" (in Portuguese). Ministério de Turismo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  See tables 1.1 and 3.8
  10. ^ Adair de Oliveira Júnior (2009-01-27). "Gasto de turistas estrangeiros registra recorde em 2008". Centro de Excelência em Turismo,   Source Brazilian Central Bank
  11. ^ a b "UNTWO Tourism Highlights 2010 Edition".   Click on the link "UNWTO Tourism Highlights" to access the pdf report.
  12. ^ a b "UNWTO Tourism Highlights - 2011 Edition".  
  13. ^ a b World Tourism Organization (2008). "UNWTO World Tourism Barometer June 2008". UNWTO. Retrieved 2008-08-08.  Data corresponds to 2007
  14. ^ The World Tourism Organization. "Tourism Highlights 2006 [pdf]". Retrieved 2006-01-06. 
  15. ^ Facultade Getúlio Vargas (2007). "Boletim de Desempenho Econômico do Turismo" (in Portuguese). Ministério de Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-21.  Fevereiro 2007, Ano IV, nº 13, pp. 3
  16. ^ a b Facultade Getúlio Vargas (2008). "Pesquisa Anual de Conjuntura Econômica do Turismo" (in Portuguese). Ministério de Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-22.  Março 2008, Ano IV, pp. 11
  17. ^ a b Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas e EMBRATUR (2006). "Caracterização e Dimensionamento do Turismo Domêstico no Brasil 2002 e 2006: Metodologia e Desenvolvimento" (in Portuguese). Ministério do Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  18. ^ a b c d Carmen Altés (2006). "El Turismo en América Latina y el Caribe y la experiencia del BID" (in Spanish). Inter-American Development Bank; Sustainable Development Department, Technical Paper Series ENV-149, Washington, D.C. p. 9 and 47. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  19. ^ Margerida Coelho (2008). "Distribução Espacial da Ocupação no Setor de Turismo: Brasil e Regiões" (in Portuguese). Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  20. ^ a b c Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas (2007). "Caracterização e Dimensionamento do Turismo Domêstico no Brasil 2002 e 2006" (in Portuguese). Ministério do Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  21. ^ Diretoria de Turismo (2006). "Boletim Anual São Paulo Turismo" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Prefeitura de São Paulo. Retrieved 2008-11-20.  see 2.1.3 "Receitas setor trurístico 2005".
  22. ^ EMBRATUR (2006). "Anúario Estatístico Volume 33 2006" (in Portuguese). Ministério do Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-22.  Tables 4.1 a 4.4: Summary Brasil by trip purpose 2004-2005
  23. ^ "Aguarde, estamos redirecionando o site". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  24. ^ (Portuguese)TOP 15 Destinations in Brazil by Foreigners
  25. ^ a b Ministério de Turismo (2013). "Anuário Estatístico de Turismo 2013" [Tourism Statistic Yearbook 2013] (in Portuguese). Ministério de Turismo. Retrieved 2014-04-18.  Year base 2012. See Table 1.1: Tourist Arrivales to Brazil
  26. ^ United Nations. "UNData. Country profiles (1999-2005)". Retrieved 2008-08-08.  Population estimated for 2007 (search values for each country profile)
  27. ^ Tourist Via - Brazil

External links

  • Brazilian Tourism Portal by Embratur (Brazilian Tourist Board)
  • New York Times Travel Guides: Brazil
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