May 4, 2012
Brazil has been for decades one of the leading tourism and travel destinations in South America. Ahead of two major sports events which will boost travelling into the lively South American country, the World Soccer Tournament in 2014 and the World Olympic Games in 2016; Brazil is now making headlines due to the phenomenal growth of its tourism and travel sectors and the stunning impacts this is having on the nation’s economy.
Recent studies released by the highly prestigious World Travel and Tourism Council, WTTC, revealed that travel and tourism, which contributed to Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with US $ 79 billion in 2011, is forecasted to grow by 7.8% this year, ahead of other countries in the region such as Chile and Colombia (with approximately 4.7 percent each) or Argentina and Peru, at 3.7 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. This data converts Brazil in the fastest growing tourism and travel related economy in Latin America.
The research, announced by WTTC’s President and CEO, David Scowsill at a recent Forum adds that when the broader indirect and induced impacts are taken into account, the industry’s contribution will be three times greater, reaching some US $ 213 billion; a figure that represents 8.6% of Brazil’s total GDP.
In terms of employment, around 7.7 million jobs in Brazil are supported by tourism and travel and its indirect impacts, representing an impressive 8 percent of all employment in the country. If the forecasts keep up as expected, an extra US $ 5.5 billion will be pumped into the nation’s tourism and travel-related economy and a new 200.000 direct jobs will be created in 2012. The study also revealed an impressive growth of the domestic travel business, which is contributing to this growth. The figures showed that domestic tourism spending grew by 6.5 percent in 2011, to a staggering US $ 130 billion.
In announcing the impressive news, WTTC’s President affirmed that “Brazil’s travel and tourism industry is set for a great few years”. He added that the open skies agreements reached by Brazil with several nations across the world have contributed to the positive growth figures. However, he cautioned about the need to improve some of the country’s infrastructure, especially to cope with the foreseeable demand resulting from the World Soccer Cup and the Olympic Games. He pointed out particularly at airports’ capacity, hotel infrastructure and rooms availability on several venues. The Government of Brazil has already started construction works and planning ahead for these mega events, but, according to the Forum’s leader, “they need to make sure to adhere to deadlines and timetables”.
The WTTC research also shows that the prospects for Latin America in general are very promising for 2012 and the Region will be one of the fastest-growing in the world, in terms of the travel and tourism’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, at 6.5%; only behind South Asia and Northeast Asia. Driving this growth is a 5.2 percent increase in capital investment in travel and tourism, the highest outside Asia.
Meanwhile, Brazil continues to intensify its international promotion and to motivate a greater awareness for internal tourism; incentivizing investment in infrastructure and quality services, to keep up with the booming demand that undoubtedly is benefiting the country’s economy.