The number of European tourists who came to Brazil in 2004 was greater than the number of Latin American tourists, for the first time. 1.834 million Europeans visited Brazil last year, as against 1.829 million from Latin America. In comparison with 2003, the number of European tourists was up approximately 20%.
"This survey of tourists has existed for three or four decades, and this is the first time we had more Europeans than Latin Americans," affirms Eduardo Sanovicz, president of the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur). The data are published annually.
Sanovicz ascribes the increase to the commercial promotion program begun in 2003 with the National Tourism Plan, when Embratur concentrated on its activities abroad. He emphasizes the basic job done by the Brazilian Tourism Offices, known as EBTs, established in nine countries since 2003 to promote Brazil as a tourist destination.
For Sanovicz, because of the presence of a larger number of Europeans in the country, foreign tourists should inject US$ 4 billion into the local economy, a record amount. This figure came to US$ 3.2 billion in 2004.