Brazilian Tourism Institute Embratur invested $18 million in promoting foreign tourism this year. That money paid off 305 times over, with $5.5 billion spent by foreign tourists between January and November 2016.
To offer a comparison, Mexico brings in a much smaller return on its efforts to bring in international tourists. While the country spends $490 million in advertisements, its visitors spent about $17 billion, only 34.7 times its original investment.
Tourism Minister Marx Beltrão used these numbers in his request to the Brazilian Congress to increase funds. Beltrão argued that tourism was an essential instrument in fighting the economic recession. Although he already secured 15 million BRL in additional funds, the minister still hopes to triple the current budget for attracting foreign tourism.
Where They’re From
In 2015, more than 6 million foreign tourists visited Brasil. Fellow Mercosul countries sent the most tourists, with Argentina alone sending over 2 million visitors. The U.S. took second place with 575,796 tourists in Brazil and Chile third with 306,331. Neighboring countries Paraguay and Uruguay took fourth and fifth place respectively. Finally, France represented the European tourist contingent in sixth place.
2015 showed a 1.3 percent decrease from the previous year, in which Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup. However, 2015 also showed an 8.5 percent growth in international tourism in relation to 2013. The numbers for 2016, in which Rio hosted the Summer Olympics, should be higher than ever.
Where They Go
International tourists mainly arrived in Brazil through its economically strong southeastern region. São Paulo continues to be the number one entry city for foreign tourists arriving in Brazil. In 2015, over 2 million tourists arrived in the state, up from 2014’s numbers. Rio de Janeiro came in second place, followed by Rio Grande do Sul, which many visitors entered by land rather than plane.
Nearly all foreign tourists visited in Brazil’s summer months of December through February, when the country celebrates its famous Carnaval.