*Written by Marcos Jorge
Known for its natural beauty, expansive coastline and postcards like Christ the Redeemer, the Pantanal and Iguaçu Falls, Brazil is the 85th most popular destination in the world, according to the website. com. worlddata. If countries such as France, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands are among the preferences of world travelers, in Latin America we compete for a place in the sun with Mexico, El Salvador and our neighbor Argentina.
To give you an idea of its size, official data indicates that in 2022 the country received around 2.6 million foreign visitors. It sounds like a lot, but according to a German data collection and analysis platform StatistaOnly the Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s premier postcards, received almost double that number, or 5.8 million tourists, in the same period. France as a whole welcomed more than 66 million visitors in the same period, pumping around €60 billion into the local economy. Even Mexico, which ranks first on this side of the Atlantic, ended 2022 with 20 million tourists.
The numbers indicate that there is still a lot of room for growth, and the outlook is encouraging. Travel has returned to our plans, and searches for destinations rich in culture, gastronomy and entertainment have once again entered family budgets. This is reflected in an increase in international and domestic travel, a phenomenon already seen in Brazil and strongly influenced by the exchange rate issue. On July 25, for example, the dollar was set at 4.75 rand, the lowest since last May, which also favored international travel plans.
Encouraging data indicates that we are at a turning point. according to IPGE, tourism activities were mainly responsible for Brazil’s GDP growth of 2.9% in 2022. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) states that in 2023 the sector should earn 752.3 billion rand, equivalent to 7.8%. of the national gross domestic product. The report also indicates that the total number of registered jobs for the sector this year will reach 8 million, or 2.5% higher than in 2019. In May 2023 alone, the sector achieved its highest revenue for the month since 2014, with a total of R36.1 billion in revenue, according to National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC). Indicators show that a new era is being created in this sector.
Another encouraging news is the approval of the so-called Perse MP (Emergency Program for the Resumption of the Event Sector), which provides for a zero rate on some taxes for the aviation and tourism sectors. This is an opportunity for companies that want to invest in this sector, whether by building new hotels and resorts or renovating existing projects – thus increasing the number of travelers. These investments will significantly increase the sector’s commercial potential and impact in the medium and long term.
To realize all this potential, it is important to invest in structuring destinations and obtaining airline tickets. The Ministry of Tourism has already announced the start of tourism infrastructure works in several areas, such as Maceió Airport, for example, which opened in July after renovation; Expansion of qualification courses for workers in the sector and financial support through the General Fund for Tourism Fungetur, which received a new contribution in July to support tourism companies in the north-east, mid-west and south of the country.
The scenario demonstrates that the private sector and government can and should join forces to attract new investments and generate jobs and income for the Brazilian people. Only then can we effectively start a new virtuous cycle for tourism in the country.
*Marcos Jorge is a founding partner at RTSC, a financial group focused on developing Brazilian tourism
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