Travelers are eager to get to know South America’s largest country—presenting a growing opportunity for developers.
Hosting the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Games in 2016 allowed Brazil to introduce itself to a new set of visitors, and the country leveraged the international spectacles to attract these new visitors. The country has smartly been motivated by the attention, updating urban motility, infrastructure for airports and signage for tourists to improve travel conditions. Brazil waived requirements for American, Japanese, Australian and Canadian tourists from June 1 through September 18 this year to maximize the number of visitors. The strategy worked: More than half a million people traveled to Brazil from July 1 to August 15, and the visa program benefited more than 70 percent of the country’s international tourists, according to a survey released by Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism. Those travelers gave Rio de Janeiro a 98.7 percent approval rating for its hospitality, and 83 percent said the vacation met or exceeded their expectations.
Overall, travelers to Brazil this summer not only enjoyed Brazil but also are interested in vacationing there again. A survey conducted by the FGV Institute for the Brazil Tourism Board (Embratur) found that 91.2 percent of respondents intend to return, 38.6 percent within two years. In February, Hard Rock International announced three new projects being developed in Brazil, citing the global attention the country has received as one reason for entering Brazil. In the state of Goiás, Hard Rock Hotel Brasilia will complement expansions to Brasília’s Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport. Hard Rock Hotel Caldas Novas, farther south in Goiás, will be the world’s largest hydrothermal resort, while along the country’s southeast coast Hard Rock Hotel Itapema will focus on luxe beach experiences.
North American tourists, a major market for Brazil, are interested in the country’s cultural activities and opportunities for adventure and ecotourism, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Leisure travelers from this segment typically stay for 10 to 15 days. Vincinius Lummertz, president of Embratur, notes that the tourism board is also working to develop travel opportunities around theme parks, honeymoons and bird-watching. “We have a huge potential for tourism growth,” Lummertz says.
Felipe Lima, director of Beach Park Vacation Club, recommends that developers looking to Brazil focus on projects that showcase the country’s people and natural resources. “Brazil has a rich culture and diverse attractions and natural wonders such as mountains, rain forests and beaches,” Lima says. “If travel is to live unforgettable experiences, Brazil is the best place.”
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