Published on : Friday, January 18, 2019
Brazil is prepared to get rid of visitor visas for Americans, the tourism minister of the country mentioned on Wednesday, as President Jair Bolsonaro is keen to turn around the slowly moving tourism sector and develop cozier relations with the United States. The visa effort is part of the plan of the Foreign Ministry for the initial 100 days in power of Bolsonaro, who assumed office on Jan. 1, Tourism Minister Marcelo Alvaro Antonio told Reuters in an interview.
“Our intention is really to eliminate visa applications for Americans,” Antonio said.
Bolsonaro won the presidency running on a right-wing populist platform and is a fan of Mr. Donald Trump, the U.S. President. He has sought to realign Brazil with the United States, contrasting to the leftist Workers Party government that controlled the country for 13 of the past 15 years and favored relations with fellow developing economies.
“The left has treated the United States as an adversary, but not our government,” Antonio said. “President Bolsonaro wants to embrace the United States as a partner of Brazil.”
Brazil is the largest economy of Latin America but in tourism has long punched below its weight. At present, the country receives 6.6 million international tourists every year, roughly half that of New York City alone.
Also, Brazil seeks to abolish visas for Canadians, Japanese and Australians but the timeline is up to the Foreign Ministry, Antonio said. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman however has denied to comment.