Brazil Expecting Tourism Boom. Airlines Must Grow 20%.

Brazil’s tourism sector expects to increase its revenues and number of new hires in the first half of 2006. This tendency was demonstrated in the Bulletin of Economic Performance of Tourism, a quarterly publication of the Ministry of Tourism and the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

The survey included 748 companies in eight tourism-related sectors. 75% of the travel agencies expect their revenues to grow in comparison with the first half of 2005.

In the area of events, 40% hope to earn more, and among tour operators 100% share this expectation. Some – the hotel sector, for example – believe they will need to hire new staff.

According to the Minister of Tourism, Walfrido Mares Guia, some sectors will have to invest in infrastructure in order to meet the demand. Airline services, for example, must expand over 20% in 2006 to keep up with demand, the Minister observed.

Mares Guia also wishes to increase the number of foreign tourists in Brazil, as well as the inflow of foreign currency, which is expected to bring in between US$ 6.5 million and US$ 7 million in 2006.

The influx of dollars grew 18% in 2005, to US$ 3.8 billion. "Just in what passes officially through the hands of the Central Bank, we shall arrive close to US$ 5 billion in 2006," the Minister estimates.

The survey covers travel agencies, event organizers, hotels, tour operators, local tour operators ("receptive tourism"), restaurants, airlines, and theme parks/tourist attractions. The last three sectors were included for the first time in this edition.

ABr

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