Brazil is attracting a record number of tourists – and still looks set to reach its target of 10million annual visitors by 2020, says a market expert. In 2012, a record 5.433 million people travelled to Brazil, up 4.5% on 2011, according to data produced in partnership with Embratur, the Brazilian Tourist Board.
And with the 2014 Football World Cup and the Olympics two years later, those figures are set to rocket. Most tourists come to Brazil from neighbouring Argentina, followed by Americans and Germans. But the number of visitors from China is rising rapidly, up 18% on the previous 12 months,
Embratur President Flavio Dino, says, “The upcoming major world sporting events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase Brazil’s diversity. The latest tourism figures signify that momentum is growing ahead of our upcoming mega events and we are on track to meet our goal of 10 million visitors by 2020.”
At the same time, the Ministry of Tourism has announced that 109 new hotels and resorts are being built in the 12 FIFA World Cup host cities – including Natal, where the EcoHouse headquarters is based.
There are plans for five and six-star hotels, marinas, golf resorts and a theme park.
Secretary of State Renato Fernandes also promised to restore the historical centre of Natal and turn it into a pedestrianised, open-air area.