Brazil’s Tourism Minister Wants to Ease Visa Requirements for Americans

The Amazon is considered one of humanity’s greatest natural treasures, but tourism in the region is still "incipient," says the Brazilian Minister of Tourism, Walfrido Mares Guia.

He points out that none of the more than 430 weekly flights that arrive in Brazil from the United States and Europe goes to the Amazon.

"Flights are rare. We want to develop tourism in economy and business class flights to this region. To do so, we must take an essential step: simplify the question of requiring a Brazilian visa for US citizens to enter Brazil and the US$ 100 tax, which hampers vacation tourism," the Minister said.

Mares Guia got together this Wednesday, February 15, with entrepreneurs and politicians to learn about a tourism project for the region, based on air travel and developed by the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP) and the Arruda Botelho Institute, a non-governmental organization whose goal is to contribute to environmental preservation, as well as helping to preserve the cultural patrimony.

The federal government considers tourism in the Amazon to be strategic for the generation of income and jobs for the 20 million Brazilians who live in the region.

The Amazon currently accounts for less than 1% of tourism in Brazil, according to the FIESP. That is why the Ministry of Tourism is in favor of integrating air travel in South America and changing the way the sector is regulated in Brazil.

One of the activities being designed to stimulate tourism in areas off the beaten track is the ministry’s Go Brazil program, which is still being discussed with entrepreneurs from the hotel and airline sectors.

The idea is to set up a website offering cheaper flights to Brazilian destinations that Brazilians don’t usually visit. The program is expected to go into effect by the end of the year.

Agência Brasil


  • Show Comments (10)

  • Ben

    An International Entrepreneur’s Perspective
    I love Brazil and I love the U.S. I am a U.S. citizen who not only visits Brazil often, but who also lived there for two years. Interestingly enough, I have also partnered up with Brazilian companies to take American tourists sport-fishing and eco-touring on the Amazon River of Brazil ( In my experience and research, there is a lot of growing interest for Americans to visit the fishing an biodiverse pardises that the Amazon offers; however, quite frankly, the visa costs and processes are a headache and oftentimes these processes alone sway people to go elsewhere where a visa is not required. I highly favor eliminating the mandatory visa requirement for American tourists and so do my Brazilian partners. Brazil tourism is growing, but it is losing market share compared to the rest of the international tourism world. Check out It is currently not reaching its potential compared to the rest of the world. I bet that doing away with the visa will sky rocket Brazil’s tourism market into record growth! Go U.S.A! Go Brazil! Lets partner up so we can all see a little more economic growth.

    Eu amo brasil e amo os estados unidos. Sou dos estados unidos, mas visito brasil muito. Eu tambem morava em brasil por dois anos. Interasantamente, eu tambem comecei fazer tourismo em brasil com negocios brasileiros em que gente leva americanos para pescar e fazer ecotourismo ( Em meu experiencia e pesquisas, eu percebi que tem muito interesse mesmo em americanos conhecerem as pescarias e biodiversidades da Amazonia, mas, para falar a verdade, os custos e processos de pegar visas sao um grande dor da cabeza e muitos vezes os processos do visa persuadir as pessoas irem outras destinarios em que nao tem visas. Eu estou com muito favor de eliminar visas, e meus parceiros brasileiros tambem estao com favor de eliminar tambem. O mercado de tourismo em brasil esta crecendo, mas nao tanto como pode. Veja que esplica que brasil esta perdindo “market share” comparado o resto do mundo. Por favor elimina a visa. Vai fazer um favor por tudo mundo. Eu adivinho que se brasil elimina a visa, tourismo em brasil vai crescer mais do que ja fazia anteriormente. Vai E.U.A! Vai Brazil! Vamos ser parceiros e todos nos crescer na economia!


  • Stonewall012

    I am planning a trip to Brazil this April. I have never been there before. I would love to live there. I would like to know how hard it is to move and work there for an American? As for a the visa process for going to Brazil. I know it is easy for an American to get on then someone from Brazil. I think that is stupid. I feel sorry for the people of Brasil that wants to come to the US for a visit. I know they have to interview for a visa. WHY???? I feel this our government is picky about who comes to this country. I have always been told that this country was found on immergrents. But I guess I am wrong.

  • Guest

    That reciprocal visa policy just shows how idiotic some people can be. How many Americans want to illegally immigrate to Brazil?? And how many Brazilians actually do immigrate illegally to the the US?
    Plenty! I know heaps of them. And after they get th the US, they look for a gringo/a to hook up with so that they can stay legally. Green card is the magic word.
    I love Brazil and most of the culture, but this tis-for-tat policy is just plain stupid. Sure they have the right to do what they want, but it is just closing down a lot of potential opportunities that could be opened as in jobs and income for a country that knows it share of disparity and poverty. For those Brazilians that have the money to travel..aka as politicas.. well of course it doesn’t matter to them if the rest of the country continues to live in squander due to some stubborn person in high places.

  • Guest

    This just shows how dimwitted some people can be. Look at the first post:

    “Why? Only for the US dollars?”
    Yes for the US dollars. Have you been to the Amazon? The poverty is staggering. Maybe increased tourism will make it possible for people to eat.

    “The U.S.A. doesn’t provide easy access to their country. Why should Brasil kiss their asses?”
    What you mean is that the USA doesn’t let just ANYONE enter their country; they want some kind of reasonable assurance that the person won’t stay illegally. The US does provide easy access to people who have jobs and can prove that they don’t plan to abuse their toursim priviledges.

    “Screw the minister’s idea.”
    That’s probably what will happen. Nothing will come of it.

    “Till Brasil and it’s people are treated fairly at the American embassy, Brasil should not easy anything.”
    I guess by fair you mean that everyone who applies for a VISA should be allowed to visit. Because that is the USA’s first responsibility, isn’t it? To make a haven for Brasilians and other internationals who aren’t happy at home?

    “Charge the gringos more to visit beautiful Brasil.”
    Bright idea. Then even fewer people will visit the region, less tourism dollars will be made, and the people of the Amazon will sink into deeper poverty. But those gringos will have learned their lesson, won’t they?

  • Guest

    two wrong comments
    1. Saying most illegal Brazilians want to only work long enough to earn enough to live
    comfortably in Brazil is the same as saying they plan on staying in America.
    How is an illegal immigrant going to earn enough in a few years to live well in Brazil.
    So scratch that as an excuse for illegal immigration.

    2. The US is not hard on Brazilians it is simply that EVERYBODY wants to come to America.
    The US cannot accept everybody who wants to come here. Sorry.
    It is not Bush or any US politician’s fault.

  • Guest

    There is a real terrorism/security probl
    and Brasil doesn’t have the same problem so thaqt is part of it. As far as staying and working after a tourist visa has expired it’s not a freckle on the ass of that problem in terms of Mexican illegals. I think he has a point in that he wants to promote tourism in the Amazon while there is still a tree left and a fish swimming; I know that area and it needs tourism in large scale to underwrite the oppressive cost of transport to it’s citizens for both goods and travel.

  • Guest

    Change your priorities Mares Guia
    1. Brasil has every right to retaliate for the regressive visa policies running under the current regime in Washington. (to mention the name would only interrupt our mental airwaves).

    Secondly, concentrate on promoting tourism and not on witch hunting which is what seems to be the never endine leit-motif of this minister and his NGO interloper comrades. Turning planeloads of tourist away from Ceara last year is a REAL way to promote tourism in Brasil. PARABENS SR. GUIA!!!!!

  • Guest

    Brazilian illegals stateside
    Actually in interviews conducted with the the illegal Brazilians stateside … most only want to work for a period of time at fair wages that are unattainable in Brazil. Over 95% interviewed expressed no desire to stay the rest of their lives … most just want to earn enough money to establish their lives in Brazil. In addition, I know of several Americans trying to reside in Brazil because of legal problems stateside, such as IRS and Child Support problems to name a few. In the states, most Brazilians are working at jobs that American no longer wish to do ….

  • Guest

    Easy access to the U.S. for brazilians?? Why does one think that brazilians have to go through the process they have to?? Could it be because of the actions of their own people?? Could it be because there are an estimated 1 million ILLEGAL brazilians in the U.S.?? They get a visa for tourism and then attempt and stay for the rest of their adult lives!! Could it be because Brazil has the practive of falsifying documents down to an art-form?!

    You know they just busted a smuggling ring here in Brazil that was smuggling CHILDREN into the U.S……and the children were those of ILLEGAL BRAZILIANS currently in the U.S.!!! Yea, brazil has a big problem with illegal americans immigrating here…..PLEASE!
    Typical brazilian response!! Oh those poor brazilians, they’ve done NOTHING to deserve what those big bad americans are doing to them!! And ONLY them….right?

  • Guest

    No to easy Visas to GRINGOS.
    Why? Only for the US dollars? The U.S.A. doesn’t provide easy access to their country. Why should Brasil kiss their asses? Screw the minister’s idea. Till Brasil and it’s people are treated fairly at the American embassy, Brasil should not easy anything. Charge the gringos more to visit beautiful Brasil.

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