Foreign visitors who came to Brazil in 2005 generated a record turnover for the tourism sector. According to information released by the Brazilian Central Bank, foreign tourists spent US$ 3.861 billion in the country, an increase in 19.83% in comparison to the US$ 3.222 billion registered in 2004.
Expenses by Brazilian tourists abroad, however, also increased, to US$ 4.72 billion, which generated a deficit of US$ 859 million in the sector’s accounts in 2005. In December alone, visitors left US$ 360 million in Brazil, while Brazilians spent US$ 397 million away from the country.
To reach these figures, the Central Bank uses information of official exchanges and expenditure on international credit cards.
The warm up in the sector is also reflected in the flow of passengers in international flights. According to the Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (Infraero), international arrivals reached 6,784,554 in 2005, an increase in 10.53% in relation to 2004 and also a historic record. In December alone, there were 586,138 international flights arrivals registered.
For the president of the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex), Juan Quirós, quoted in an article on the Ministry of Tourism website, the increase in the flow of tourists helps boost Brazilian exports, as foreign visitors get to know the national products and promote them in their respective countries.
According to the director of studies and research at the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur), José Francisco de Salles Lopes, also quoted by the Ministry’s website, the warm up in the sector is the result of coordinated actions between the federal and state governments and the private sector.
"The variety in Brazilian tourist options increased a lot and started to attract visitors from the whole world, in particular the Europeans," said Lopes, according to the ministry’s page on the Internet.
The deficit registered in the sector’s balance was pointed by the director of the economic department at the Central Bank, Altamir Lopes, also quoted by the website, as a result in the increase in real income in Brazil and the appreciation of the Brazilian currency in relation to the dollar, which favors international trips.
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