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Tourism in Brazil is a growing sector and key to the economy of several regions of Brazil. The country had 6.589 million visitors in 2018, ranking in terms of the international tourist arrivals as the second main destination in South America after Argentina and third in Latin America after Mexico and Argentina.[1] Revenues from international tourists reached US$5.8 billion in 2015, continuing a recovery trend from the 2008-2009 economic crisis.[2]

Brazil offers for both domestic and international tourists an ample range of options, with natural areas being its most popular tourism product, a combination of 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 Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, cultural and historic tourism in Minas Gerais and business trips to São Paulo city.[3]

In terms of the 2015 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 ranked in the 28st place at the world's level, third in the Americas, after Canada and United States.[4][5] Brazil main competitive advantages are its natural resources, which ranked 1st on this criteria out of all countries considered, and ranked 23rd for its cultural resources, due to its many World Heritage sites. The 2013 TTCI report also notes Brazil's main weaknesses: its ground transport infrastructure remains underdeveloped (ranked 129th), with the quality of roads ranking in the 121st place, and quality of air transport infrastructure in 131st; and the country continues to suffer from a lack of price competitiveness (ranked 126th), due in part to high and increasing ticket taxes and airport charges, as well as high and rising prices more generally. Safety and security improved significantly between 2008 and 2013, moving from 128th to 73rd place[5], before slipping to 106th by 2017.[6]

Foreign tourists mainly come from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, the United States, Canada, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Chile, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, and Russia.

International tourism

  • Notes: Green shadow denotes the country with the top indicator. Yellow shadow corresponds to Brazilian indicators.
    (1) Visitors and receipts for Cuba correspond to 2011..

Tourist visa

Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro.

Tourist visa requirements have been waived for citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Tourist visas also applies to lecturers at conferences, for visiting relatives and/or friends, unpaid participation in athletic or artistic event or competition (in this case an invitation letter from the sponsoring organization in Brazil is required), and unpaid participation in a scientific/academic seminar or conference sponsored by a research or academic institution (in this case an invitation letter from the sponsoring organization in Brazil is required).[32]

Paleontological Tourism

Tourism in Paleorrota Geopark

Geopark Paleorrota is the main area of geotourism in Rio Grande do Sul and one of the most important in Brazil. With 83,000 km² inside 281,000 km² of the state, where many fossils of the Permian and Triassic period, with ages ranging between 210 and 290 million years ago, when there were only the continent Pangaea.

In the region Metropolitan Porto Alegre there are 5 museums to visit. In Paleorrota Geopark there are 7 museums, the Palaeobotanical Garden in Mata and the Paleontological Sites of Santa Maria to be visited. The BR-287, nicknamed Highway of Dinosaurs, crosses 17 of 41 municipalities of the geopark.

Domestic tourism

Amazon Rainforest in Manaus, is a popular ecotourism destination.

Domestic tourism is a key market segment for the tourism industry in Brazil. In 2005, 51 million Brazilian nationals[24] made ten times more trips than foreign tourists and spent five times more money than their international counterparts. The main destination states in 2005 were São Paulo (27.7%), Minas Gerais (10.8%), Rio de Janeiro (8.4%), Bahia (7.4%), and Santa Catarina (7.2%). The top three states by trip origin were São Paulo (35.7%), Minas Gerais (13.6%).[24]

In terms of tourism revenues, the top earners by state were São Paulo (16.4%) and Bahia (11.7%). For 2005, the three main trip purposes were visiting friends and family (53.1%), sun and beach (40.8%), and cultural tourism (12.5%).[21]

Tourism by regions of Brazil

Southeast Region

Guarda do Embaú beach, in Santa Catarina. The beaches in Santa Catarina's littoral are one of the main destination for Argentine tourists.
Snorkeling in the city of Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul. The rivers in the region are known for their crystal clear waters.