The increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting Brazil has begun to make a difference in the country’s balance of payments. Tourism is usually calculated as “invisible trade” in the current account (trade) area of international transactions.
According to the president of the Embratur (Empresa Brasileira de Turismo – Brazilian Tourism Corporation), Eduardo Sanovicz, “Tourism is an important commercial element. It is part of our economic agenda because it is profitable for Brazil, creates jobs, income and development.”
Although final data on tourism in 2004 is not available yet, Embratur estimates that the total number of foreign tourists who visited Brazil should reach 4.6 million, an increase of 12% over 2003.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank reports that from January to November those tourists spent US$ 2.88 billion in Brazil, an increase of 31.2%.
“Those dollars went into the pockets of thousands of Brazilians who work in the sector today,” points out Sanovicz.
Tourism in Rio de Janeiro has gotten a boost from cruise ships. This year a total of 85 of them are scheduled to dock in Rio.
It is estimated that during this season (which runs from October to April) they will bring US$ 55 million to the city in revenue, up from US$ 40 million during the last season.
The president of the company which handles the cruise ships in Rio (Pier Mauá S/A), Pedro Guimarães, says last year’s highlight was the inaugural trip by the Queen Mary, which carries 2,600 passengers.
“They were in Rio for four days. And the best part was that they made Rio the final port of one voyage and the starting port of another,” said Guimarães.
Translation: Allen Bennett