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Brazil's tourism
Updated: 2009-08-24 16:55

Tourism in Brazil is a growing sector and key to the economy of several regions of the country. The country had 5.2 million visitors in 2008 and in 2007 ranked as the fourth largest tourist destination in the Americas, the main destination in South America, and second in Latin America after Mexico, in terms of the international tourist arrivals. Revenues from international tourists reached USD 5.78 billion in 2008. In 2005, tourism contributed with 3.2% of the country's revenues from exports of goods and services, and represented 7% of direct and indirect employment in the Brazilian economy. In 2006 direct employment in the sector reached 1.87 million people. Domestic tourism is a fundamental market segment for the industry, as 51 million traveled throughout the country in 2005, and direct revenues from Brazilian tourists reached USD 21.8 billion, 5.6 times more receipts than international tourists in 2005.

Brazil offers for both domestic and international tourists, an ample gamut of options, with natural areas being its most popular tourism product, a combination of ecotourism with leisure and recreation, mainly sun and beach, and adventure travel, as well as historic and cultural tourism. Among the most popular destinations are the Amazon Rainforest, beaches and dunes in the Northeast Region, the Pantanal in the Center-West Region, beaches at the Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, cultural and historic tourism in Minas Gerais and business trips to São Paulo city.

In terms of 2008 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which is a measurement of the factors that make it attractive to develop business in the travel and tourism industry of individual countries, Brazil reached the 49th place in the world's ranking, second among Latin American countries, and sixth in the Americas. Brazil main competitive advantages are shown by the subindex measuring human, cultural, and natural resources, where Brazil ranks sixth at the worldwide level, and third when only the natural resources criteria is considered. The TTCI report also notes Brazil's main weaknesses, information and communications technology infrastructure (ranked 58th), ground transport infrastructure (ranked 95th), and safety and security (ranked 128th).