Brazil Rises from 21th to 11th Among World’s Favorite Places for Events

Business tourism is growing in Brazil. According to a study disclosed yesterday, July 27, by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism, of the 5.3 million foreign visitors who travelled to the country last year, 29.1% came on business, against 28.7% of a total of 4.7 million tourists in 2004.

The study was executed by the University of São Paulo’s (USP) Economic Research Institute Foundation (Fipe).

According to the ministry, the increase in demand for Brazil as a business destination is due to the country’s economic recovery and, mainly, to the growth of exports.

The research shows that the southeastern region, which concentrates the largest economic activity in the country, is the most sought by business travellers, 78.5%. Then comes the South, with 22.2%, the Northeast, with 11.4%, the Midwest, with 4.5% and the North, with 2.9%.

In the same line, the states most visited by business tourists were the southeastern São Paulo, with 59.9% and Rio de Janeiro, with 23.7%, followed by Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná, both in the South, and Minas Gerais, in the Southeast.

The cities that most received foreigners on business trips were the southeastern São Paulo (49.4%) and Rio de Janeiro (22.3%), Porto Alegre (8.2%) and Curitiba (5.4%), in the South, and Belo Horizonte (4.1%), in the Southeast.

According to the Ministry, another figure that proves the growth of Brazil as a place for doing business is the ranking of the International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA). The country rose from the 21st position among the most sought sites for international events to the 11th position in 2005.

The per capita expenses of this kind of tourist also rose from one year to the next. According to the Fipe study, those travelling to Brazil on business spent on average US$ 98 per day in the country in 2004. Last year, the average rose to US$ 112.3.

The level of satisfaction of these visitors was high. The research informs that 85.3% of them considered that their expectations before the trip were reached completely or exceeded and 97.9% stated that they intend to return to the country.

Leisure

Per capita expenses of leisure travellers also rose, going from US$ 58 per day in 2004 to US$ 81.9 last year. In all, 44.4% of the foreigners who visited the country in 2005 came on leisure.

The south of the country was the region most visited in the leisure category (46.8%), according to the ministry, as Argentineans are the largest group of foreigners who visit the country and Argentina borders all the states of the south of Brazil. Then comes the Southeast, with 43.4%, the Northeast, with 31.3%, the North, with 5.8% and the Midwest, with 3.5%.

The states most sought by leisure travellers were Rio de Janeiro (SE – 34.7%), Santa Catarina (25.1%) and Paraná (20.3%), both in the South, São Paulo (SE – 16%) and Bahia (NE – 15.5%). The cities most visited were Rio de Janeiro (31.5%), Foz do Iguaçu (17%), São Paulo (13.6%), Florianópolis (12.1%) and Salvador (11.5%).

In this category, 88% of the tourists stated that their expectations were reached or exceeded, and 95.9% stated that they intend to return.

The rest of the public researched, 26.5%, came to Brazil for reasons other than business and leisure. To reach the results, a total of 50,564 people were researched in 2004 and 43,203 in 2005. The interviews took place at 22 different locations, being 12 international airports and 10 land frontiers.

According to figures disclosed last week by the Brazilian Central Bank, in the first half of this year, foreign tourists have already spent US$ 2.195 billion in Brazil, 17.51% more than in the same period last year. Up to the end of the year, the government estimates that the expenses of visitors should reach US$ 4.5 billion, against US$ 3.8 billion in 2005.

According to the Ministry’s figures, the tourists who visited Brazil most are from, in this order, Argentina, the United States, Portugal, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, France, Paraguay, Spain, Chile, England, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico and Bolivia.

Visitors from the Middle East reached 35,138 last year, an increase of 9.26% in comparison to 2004. The number of African tourists, in turn, rose 17% and reached 75,676 in 2005.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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