Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, Walfrido dos Mares Guia, speaking at the São Paulo Industrial Federation (Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo) (Fiesp), said he was in favor of eliminating the visa requirement for US tourists.
Mares Guia said the visa and a mandatory payment of US$ 100 was holding back the development of tourism in Brazil.
The Minister suggested that the visa could be issued when the US tourist arrives in Brazil, rather than beforehand (which would reduce red tape), and that the US$ 100 tax could be eliminated.
Spokespersons at the ministry said the proposed changes had gotten a favorable reception in Congress where a bill dealing with the subject is expected to be voted on by the end of March.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Relations says it is against eliminating the visa requirement based on the principle of reciprocity. In South America, only Brazil and Paraguay require US tourists to have visas, and only Brazil charges the US$100 tax.