The visa waiver for tourists from the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia enacted for the period of the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games has had positive results in tourist inflows.

A survey conducted by the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with the Federal Police Department concluded that the total number of foreign tourists originating from the exempt countries grew by an average 55.31% over the same period in 2015.

In 2016, 163,104 tourists from the four nationalities visited Brazil, up from 105,017 in the previous year. The number of visitors increased by 47% for US tourists; 61% for Japanese; 84% for Canadians and 107% for Australians.

“Global organizations had already forecast this trend, which we have now confirmed in 2016. Of all the foreigners who came to Brazil for the Games, 74.7% said this has been one of the factors that motivated the trip. We now want the Brazilian government to adopt the measure for two years so we can get a more complete picture of the effectiveness and real growth effects the waiver can have in Brazilian tourist flows,” said the president of Embratur (the Brazilian Tourism Board), Vinicius Lummertz (photo).

Permanent Measure

Lummertz has also highlighted the Board’s advocacy for these visa exemption policies to become permanent for these countries, which would bring a welcome boost to the sector and consequently help strengthen the Brazilian economy.

Both Tourism Minister Marx Beltrão and Lummertz have proposed resuming discussions on exemptions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Chief of Staff. If the measure passes, the trend is for the new waiver period to last for two years.

A survey conducted among the world’s 20 largest countries in 2012 by the WTTC (World Tourism and Travel Council), one of the main entities in the sector worldwide, concluded that the more open a country, the more developed its tourism sector is. Numbers from WTTC technicians indicate that countries may experience 5% to 25% growth in revenue as they reduce restrictions on entry visas. Source: brazilgovnews

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