Brazilian economic growth releases pent-up travel demand

Published on : Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In South America, Brazil, the dominant economy continues to outpace the rest of the continent in its development as a major outbound travel market. Growth in outbound travel is likely to slow to 2% this year, however, due to weaker economic growth and other factors.

Luciana Sagi, technical director of Recife-based Tamoios Consultoria, explained that factors including general economic growth, upward mobility and more disposable income combined with a strong currency had released pent-up demand among Brazilians for travel. This drove not only domestic tourism, which grew 18% a year between 2007 and 2011, but also outbound travel.

“There was a dream to travel outside the country,” she said. International tourism expenditure soared 50% in 2010 and rose a further 30% in 2011. The US and Europe are the main destinations.

International tourism expenditure had already topped the 2011 level of $16 billion by September. Indeed, Brazilians are welcome visitors at many destinations as they have proven to be high spenders, having risen to 12th place in the ranking of international travel spending. However, this might change if the Brazilian real loses strength against the dollar.

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