The sum of federal funds allotted to tourism by Brazil nearly doubled in the first four months of this year, in comparison with the same period in 2004.
In the first four months of 2004, federal bank transfers totaled US$ 135.85 million (314.1 million reais), whereas this year they amounted to US$ 266.43 million (616.1 million reais), a 96.2% increase.
In the 12 months between May, 2004, and April, 2005, the end of the period covered by the Brazlian Ministry of Tourism’s report, the sector received an overall financial injection of US$ 648.8 million (1.5 billion reais).
The Bank of Brazil contributed 65.8% of these investments: US$ 429.28 million (992.5 million reais). The Federal Savings Bank (Caixa Econômica Federal) invested 24.3%: US$ 158.52 million (366.5 million reais).
And, together, the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES), the Bank of the Amazon (BASA), and the Bank of the Northeast (BNB) were responsible for US$ 64.2 million (148.6 million reais).
According to the National Secretary of Tourism Programs and Development, Maria Luisa Leal, in executing the country’s tourism development policy, the Ministry, in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Employment and the Ministry of National Integration, seeks to make resources available to tourism projects run by private enterprise.
The major sources of financing are the Workers’ Assistance Fund (FAT) and the Constitutional Funds for the North (FNO), the Northeast (FNE), and the Center-West (FCO).
Most of the resources are being invested in hotels, in projects for their implantation, expansion, or modernization.
The Pestana group from Portugal, for example, is carrying out a project to restore and adapt the Carmelite Convent, in the Pelourinho district of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia.
The enterprise is being financed with resources from the FNE and is intended to prepare the historical building to receive overnight guests, in the context of a cultural tourism project similar to the inns of Portugal.