New airport could boost tourism in Jericoacoara by 7% within a year

The idyllic beach destination in northeast Brazil currently draws

Published in 01/07/2017 - 20:22 By Edwirges Nogueira, local Agência Brasil correspondent - Fortaleza

Jericoacoara

Tourism in Jericoacoara is to focus on reviving local identity and traditions, which have been gradually fading over the years as the destination loses its local color to look more and more like any other place Divulgação/Setur-CE

 

Getting to Jericoacoara, a beach paradise on the sunset coast of Ceará state, will become easier this month as the new Comandante Ariston Pessoa Regional Airport, is unveiled. An inaugural flight took 177 passengers there from Congonhas airport, São Paulo. The airport is located in Cruz, a municipality on the way to Jericoacoara and other beaches in the area, located 248 kilometers by road from the state capital, Fortaleza.

The project cost about $27 million, of which $24 million was provided by the state and $4 million by the federal government through the Civil Aviation Secretariat. According to the State Tourism Secretariat (SETUR), Jericoacoara draws about 600,000 visitors annually. With the new airport, this is expected to increase 7% in within the first 12 months of the airport's operation, and 20% over the next three years.

According to the Civil Aviation Secretariat, the paperwork authorizing the airport to receive commercial flights should be complete by the beginning of July. Initially, the airport will take in a weekly Gol Airlines chartered flight from Congonhas, run by CVC travel agency. In July, Azul Airlines will start operating a weekly flight from Viracopos in Campinas, São Paulo, and another one from Recife, Pernambuco, that will run four times a week. By the end of the year, the airport will begin receiving flights from Fortaleza.

Those getting to Jericoacoara beach by road currently travel 300 kilometers from Fortaleza. The way to the village, located within Jericoacoara National Park, is an off-road journey through dunes and sand tracks.

The tourism boost raises concerns about the environmental protection area and sustainability. Evanir Morais, a tourism management lecturer at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology (IFCE), celebrates the new passenger terminal as a convenient opportunity for those who have not been to Jericoacoara before.

“It will enable us to provide a robust travel product that is not only regionally and nationally but also internationally renowned both for its beauty and its winds suitable for sports.” Kitesurfing is one of the most popular sports there.

But she also has concerns about sustainable management. In her opinion, the government should seek regulations for solid waste and water management, especially amid a six-year drought. The lecturer suggested these actions should take place through public-private partnerships (PPPs) because the tourism boost could benefit the private sector.

Revisiting local identity

Evanir also hopes tourism in Jericoacoara to focus on reviving local identity and traditions, which have been gradually fading over the years as the destination loses its local color to look more and more like any other place.

“When I went camping in Jericoacoara years ago, we used to see a lot of local villagers there. Now I wonder where they have gone because the next time I visited I found a fluctuating population with a number of foreigners who had chosen to live there. I think we ought to revive local identity and bring up the special features of this unique place where the grassy beach meets the dry backlands.”

According to SETUR, issues getting to the village, parking, handling waste and managing water resources are the subject of a study being conducted in collaboration with the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). Proposals include limiting the number of tourists visiting and moving to the village, like what happened in Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco.


Translated by Mayra Borges


Fonte: New airport could boost tourism in Jericoacoara by 7% within a year

Edition: Davi Oliveira / José Romildo

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