Brazil tourism

Tourists steer clear of Brazil, Russia, India and Nigeria because of onerous visa requirements, EM Squared reported last week. But even with easy tourist visas in place, these emerging market giants won’t reach their full potential. The real key lies in enhancing the ease of doing business and developing adequate infrastructure.

Visa policies are certainly a real barrier to tourist arrivals. No matter how beautiful or intriguing your country is as a tourist destination, if you make it too complicated for tourists to visit, they will stay away. That problem is not limited to emerging markets. A few years ago, US Travel Association estimated that the US lost the equivalent of 467,000 jobs due to the difficulty for citizens of primarily Brazil, India and China to obtain a visa. Read more

If there is a slowdown in Brazil, George Fertitta is not seeing it.

As the head of NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism board, Fertitta has witnessed the meteoric rise of Brazilian visitors to the Big Apple. Last year, Brazil became the second most important overseas market for the city after the UK: 826,000 Brazilians came to visit, compared with 112,000 in 2006.

“We have never seen anything like it,” said Fertitta. “We have had big surges in visitors from Ireland but the surge from Brazil is unique in scale.”

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Usually countries with strong currencies scare off foreign tourists. Witness Australia’s challenges. But not Brazil, apparently.

According to Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism, the number of foreign visitors has continued to rise even as though the country’s currency has stayed firm at around R$2 per dollar, making it one of the world’s more expensive destinations. In 2012, Brazil received 5.67m foreign visitors, an increase of 4.5 per cent compared with 2011. Read more

So Brazil’s economy is slowing down. That means business travellers are not coming anymore, right? Wrong.

Research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) shows that business travel spending in Brazil has nearly tripled over the past 12 years. Read more

Brazilians often say they can organize a party like no one else. And there is some truth in it, just take a look at carnival, the biggest street party in the world. Millions of people get together in cities all over the country without invitation or advertisement. They dance, have fun, get drunk and go home… or back to their hotels, that is, if they were fortunate enough to find one. Read more

You would think that building hotels in Brazil should be a straightforward affair.

With the country set to host the World Cup in 2014 and the summer Olympics in 2016, Embratur, the government’s tourism arm, reckoned it would need to expand hotel capacity by at least 20 per cent to accommodate the expected influx of visitors.

So boom time for hoteliers right? Not exactly, according to Kirk Kinsell, who heads up the Americas division for InterContinental Hotels Group. Read more

Take a stroll down Copacabana Beach these days, or talk to hotel workers around Rio, and it’s clear that the tourist industry in Brazil is doing just fine. But it’s not the stereotypical sunburnt gringos that are powering the sector. Almost all of the growth is coming from Brazilians travelling around their own country. Read more