International tourists left $6.9 bi in Brazil in 2023

The country now heads the South American tourism sector

Published on 06/02/2024 - 11:55 By Alana Gandra - Rio de Janeiro

The volume of funds left by international tourists in Brazil in 2023 has set a new record—$6.9 billion—and made the nation number one in South America for revenues in the sector, according to a ranking of 20 countries released Monday (Feb. 5) by UN Tourism.

Brazil also ranks second for post-pandemic recovery in the Americas, with an increase of 15 percent from pre-pandemic levels, behind only Mexico, and occupies 14th place in the world. Mexico is 10th. According to the survey, the country with the highest growth in revenues left by international visitors was Serbia, with 79 percent.

The funds injected into the Brazilian economy by travelers from abroad last year exceeded by 1.5 percent the highest revenue from international tourism, recorded in 2014, when the country hosted the World Cup. The target set in the National Tourism Plan was an 8.58 percent surge in revenues from international travel in 2023, but the outcome showed an annual growth of 41 percent. In 2022, international visitors left $4.9 billion in the country.

Tourism Minister Celso Sabino told Agência Brasil the record stemmed from a range of efforts by the government “to showcase Brazil to the world, the way Brazil really is.” Sabino recalled the various visits made by President Lula to other countries and pointed out Brazil was recognized by the World Bank as the ninth largest economy on the planet at the end of last year.

“There is a massive campaign to promote our main attractions on the international market at major trade fairs. Today, we’re able to celebrate the record of BRL 34.5 billion spent by foreign tourists in 2023,” he said.

Outlook

Minister Sabino said he believed this year’s figures will be even better. He mentioned there were record crowds at New Year’s Eve festivities all over the country. This year’s Carnival season, he argued, should see more people visiting Brazil. Research by the Ministry of Tourism shows that more than a third of Brazilians are expected to go sightseeing in the summer until March, a large part of them during Carnival.

“Cities are organizing and preparing for this. The federal government has provided support through the ministries of Tourism, Regional Development, Cities, Health, Education, Ports and Airports, to make sure both Brazilians and tourists coming here can enjoy the summer until March and have all the conditions for comfort, convenience, safety, and infrastructure,” he noted.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nádia Franco

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