Published on : Friday, November 29, 2019
Amazonas and Amapá states recently launched a campaign with Chinese tourism company HRH Information Technologies for persuading more visitors.
This promotional push coincides with the Brazilian government’s decision to waive visas for visiting Chinese tourists and business people, which was announced during Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s China trip at the end of last month.
With this move, the Brazilian government hopes to attract more than 60,000 Chinese tourists who visit Brazil each year. Of these, only 3,000 go to Amazonas, the largest state in the Amazon region.
Chinese tourists around the world are expected to reach 300 million by 2030.
“China could become our largest tourism partner,” tourism minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio said during a recent forum in Macao. He said that theme parks, resorts, and transportation infrastructure, are areas for potential foreign investment.
Environmentalists are still viewing efforts to expand tourism in the rainforest with a lot of apprehension.
Adriana Ramos, coordinator of the public policy programme at Instituto Socioambiental, warned of the lack of regulation for expanding ecotourism in the region and what the industry can or cannot do in the jungle.
Ramos said, “These parameters must be developed for tourism to be more sustainable and inclusive in distributing benefits,” she says. “Often, tour operators bring boats inside community areas, fish, and leave, without any benefit for the local community.”
Ramos added that the Brazilian government needs to consult rainforest communities and invest so they can structure tourist itineraries.