Brazil is leading the travel and tourism economy in Latin America

Brazil is leading the travel and tourism economy in Latin America

Brazil is Latin America’s fastest-growing travel and tourism economy; with travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP, it is forecast to grow at 7.8 percent in 2012.

Research released by David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) at Fórum Panrotas, forecasts that the Brazilian travel and tourism economy, which contributed US$79 billion to GDP in 2011, is due to increase by 7.8 percent this year. This is significantly ahead of other countries in the region such as Chile and Colombia (both with growth of 4.7 percent) and Argentina and Peru at 3.7 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

When the wider indirect and induced impacts are taken into account, the industry’s contribution is nearly three times greater – approximately US$213 billion. This is equivalent to 8.6 percent of Brazil’s total GDP.

If the growth in Brazil is achieved, it will bring an extra US$5.5 billion for the Brazilian GDP directly from travel and tourism and 200,000 new direct jobs in 2012.

Around 7.7 million jobs in Brazil are supported by travel and tourism and its wider impacts. That is nearly 8 percent of all employment in the country. And while international tourism is doing well – visitor exports reached US$7billion in 2011 – domestic business is really driving growth. Domestic tourism spend grew by 6.5 percent in 2011 to US$130 billion.

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David Scowsill said: “Brazil’s travel and tourism industry is set for a great few years, and I’m certain that Brazil agreeing to a number of open skies agreements have contributed to the positive growth figures.

“However, Brazil has a few hurdles to overcome with two major sport events coming up. In order for these events to be successful, present inadequate infrastructure must be improved. Airports currently operate at overcapacity; an unsafe port infrastructure and the lack of hotel rooms in major cities represent the main concerns for Brazil’s travel and tourism industry in the long run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Although, the government has already started some construction work, they will need to make sure they adhere to deadlines and timetables.”

WTTC’s research also shows that prospects for the Latin American region in 2012 are very respectable. Latin America will be one of the fastest-growing regions in 2012 in terms of travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP – at 6.5 percent, behind only South Asia and Northeast Asia at 6.7 percent.

Driving this growth is a 5.2 percent increase in capital investment in travel and tourism – the highest growth outside Asia – and 6.1 percent growth in visitor exports.

However, the region will have to work hard to maintain this level of growth in the long term as current forecasts show that the regions 10-year prospects are well behind other regions with travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP forecast to grow by 4.5 percent.