Rio Number 1 Destination for Foreigners in Southern Hemisphere

Ipanema beach in Rio A survey issued by consultancy firm Euromonitor International shows that Rio de Janeiro, host city of the Olympic Games 2016 and the 2014 World Cup, is the most sought destination by foreign tourists in the Southern Hemisphere. São Paulo was the city that climbed the third highest number of positions in the ranking.

In 2008, Rio de Janeiro received 2.820 million tourists (40th in the list), representing growth of 7.3% compared with the previous year. The Brazilian city that received the highest number of foreign visitors was São Paulo, which, despite having ranked 72nd, recorded an increase of 30.4% in number of visitors.

According to the survey, new connections and airlines that started operating in São Paulo have helped boost the number of visitors to the city. As examples, the survey mentions airlines Mexicana, OceanAir and Emirates, which started operating in the city.

The survey also points out that cities such as New York and São Paulo recorded significant growth due to good exchange rates, aggressive government incentive and efficient promotional campaigns.

The survey took into account only foreign tourists who stayed in the cities surveyed for at least 24 hours, and were lodged in individual or collective rooms.

The opinion poll was conducted in 2008, one year after the Pan American Games in Rio. London leads the ranking with 15.03 million visitors. Due to the World Cup and the Olympic Games, Rio is expecting a growing number of international visitors.

Writing about tourism in Brazil Euromonitor stated: “The launch of aggressive promotional campaigns in Brazil and abroad by the Ministry of Tourism were crucial in terms of attracting a large number of tourists to the country and fomenting local travel and tourism activity in 2007 and 2008.

“Not surprisingly, two new campaigns were introduced in 2008, “Está na hora de conhecer o Brasil”, or “It is time to get to know Brazil” and “Brasil Sensacional”, or “Brazil Sensational”; these were targeted towards national and international markets respectively.

“The latter identified the 12 most important inbound countries to Brazil as target markets for the continuous promotion of Brazilian travel and tourism. Nevertheless, great emphasis is being placed on Latin American countries, which are priority markets for the Ministry of Tourism when it comes to attracting leisure and business tourists and promoting regional integration, especially during the economic slowdown.”

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