Brazil Waives Visas and Sees a 55 Percent Jump in Arrivals

Copacabana Beach in Rio.
Copacabana Beach in Rio.

Official survey indicates growth between June and September, during 2016 Rio Olympics. Policy benefits North American, Canadian, Japanese and Australian tourists.

The visa waiver policy, defended by Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Board) and by the Ministry of Tourism (MTur) and applied during the period of the 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (from June 1 to September 18 Of 2016), was a success.

A survey carried out by MTur, in partnership with the Federal Police Department, concluded that the total number of international tourists from the beneficiary countries (United States, Canada, Japan and Australia) increased by 55.31% over the same period last year.

In 2016, there were 163,104 tourists from the four nationalities, compared with 105,017 from the previous year. The number of arrivals of Americans varied 47%; Japanese tourists increased 61%; Canadians tourists increased 84% and Australians tourists increased 107%.

“The global organizations already pointed to this tendency, now confirmed during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Of the total number of foreigners who came to Brazil for the Games, 74.7% said that the visa waiver was one of the factors that motivated the trip.

We now want the Brazilian government to adopt the measure for two years to draw a more complete picture of the effectiveness and real increase in the Brazilian tourist flow, “said Embratur president Vinicius Lummertz.

Lummertz reinforces Embratur’s defense so that the visa-free policy becomes permanent for these countries, which would bring a great increase to the sector, as well as contribute to strengthen the Brazilian economy. Both Minister Marx Beltrão and Lummertz have already taken the proposal for the renewal of the visa waiver for discussion with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the Civil House. If the measure is approved, the tendency is for the new visa waiver period to extend for two years.

One of the leading travel and tourism business entities in the world, the WTTC (World Tourism Organization and Travel Organization) pointed out in research developed in 2012 among the 20 largest countries in the world that, the more open the Country, the more Developed is your tourism. Figures from WTTC researchers indicate that as entry visa restrictions narrow, countries can grow 5% to 25% in revenue.

A concrete proof that the study of the organization may be correct is given from the analysis of the case in Argentina, which opted for the visa exemption for Americans in December of 2015. The flow of citizens of the United States that entered the Country In the first three months in 2016 compared to the previous year, increased by around 10%. Between January and March 2015, 83,900 Americans entered Argentina, compared to 92,400 in the same months in 2016.