Embratur, the Brazilian Tourism Corporation, is starting an international campaign to promote tourism in Brazil with an eye on the many events scheduled to take place in the country between now and 2016.
Next year there will be the Confederation Soccer Cup, followed by the World Soccer Cup in 2014 and, finally, the Olympic Games in 2016.
In 2011, a total of 5.4 million tourists came to Brazil. The forecast is for 7.2 million to come in 2014, the year of the World Cup.
According to the president of Embratur, Flávio Dino, the organization will be present in no less than 25 international fairs this year. “These are tourism fairs, where products are presented and sold for the industry. We will be selling domestic tourism in Brazil,” explained Dino.
Embratur will be working together with the Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Relations in the effort. They will also be joined by the Brazilian Agency for Export and Investment Promotion (Apex-Brasil). Embratur will also be funding cultural events through embassies in many parts of the world.
Dino points out that Brazil is moving through a good phase, with democracy on the political front, economic growth and income distribution on the rise, and a greater presence on the world stage. “There is also a favorable exchange rate, something that helps a lot,” says Dino.
At home, the Ministry of Tourism and Embratur are working to improve the domestic tourism industry, running courses for operators.
“It is important that Brazil be seen as more than a destination with lots of beautiful natural sights. The country must offer all the services that tourists expect, and do so in a timely and efficient manner,” said Dino.
“We are busy on negotiations to expand international flights to Brazil. The more seats we can offer, the lower the prices will be. That will bring in more visitors.”
According to operators, tourist complaints are common regarding highway conditions in Brazil, including a lack of signs, and problems with transportation in urban centers.
Embratur is aware that most tourism is regional. Over 80% of Europeans do their traveling in Europe. And over 50% of all visitors to Brazil come from South America. Embratur expects a sharp rise in South American tourists for the World Cup.
The last one in South America was in 1978. For the 2014 Cup, there should be five or six South American teams and that will mean a lot of fans coming to Brazil.