The coast of Brazil is having a party. This year is seeing the largest season of cruise liners in the history of the country. The record high pertains to domestic trips. The circuit was opened in October 31st and will continue until April 6, 2008.
The trips comprise 23 destinations between the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina and the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas.
A total of 430,000 cruise passengers arrived at ports in 14 ships bearing foreign flags. The figure is 29% higher than last season (2006/2007), according to the Brazilian Association of Maritime Companies (Abremar).
Last year, more than US$ 20 million were paid in commissions to Brazilian travel agents, and 330,000 guests boarded ocean cruisers in the coast of Brazil, representing an increase of 56% in passenger volume, in comparison with the previous season.
From November 2006 to March this year, sales of this type of trip generated gross revenues of approximately US$ 202 million, and more than 3,700 direct jobs were created.
The figures are especially encouraging to the travel agents segment, in which loss of revenues is a recurring subject. In the 2006/2007 season, growth of trade in locations where cruise liners dock stood at 40%, according to the Abremar.
The 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles) of the Brazilian coastline are currently the highlight of the international cruise liner segment. Other features include the beautiful beaches, and the affectionate way in which Brazilians welcome and entertain tourists with attractions ranging from gastronomy to music and popular dances.
There is also an external reason leading international ships and cruisers to Brazil: the capacity of the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas is already taken, due to the increased flow of European and United States ships in recent years.
The growing traffic of cruise liners in Brazil led to the creation of Abremar in January 2006. "We are working in partnership with the competent organs so as to improve port infrastructure in boarding areas," Adrian Ursilli, vice president at the organization.