By Bruno De Nicola, Senior Contributing Reporter
SALVADOR – The annual Travel-business study by the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), an organization formed by the most important tourism entrepreneurs in the world, ranked Brazil thirteenth in the list of the biggest economies of the sector, holding the same position as last year.
The study brings to light the importance of tourism for the entire Brazilian GDP, along with its employment potential and the massive foreign income for the South American country.
Thanks to its 6,000 miles of beaches and strong governmental support programs, Brazil’s tourism sector did very well during the 2009 global economic crises, managing not to loose a point during the international recession.
The future – of the already most desired destination in South America – is bound to become even brighter. The 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games with their strong investments in infrastructure are already causing a great deal of international interest in Brazil.
In addition, the improving of safety issues and Brazil’s image around the world are also boosting up visits, making people feel at ease while touring a country formerly considered to be among the most dangerous of the world.
“Brazil maintaining thirteenth place after the global economy crises is certainly a positive outcome” said Tourism Minister, Luiz Barreto in a press conference about the WTTC study.
Mr. Barreto believes that “the recently released travel-business data bring further strength to the solid international image of a new Brazil”
During the group interview, the Tourism Minister also highlighted the fact that the world considers Brazil to be one of the most promising countries of the planet, “thanks to its economical development and to the incoming investments for the two mass sports events scheduled for the present decade”.
Further data from the WTTC study show that Brazil ranks tenth in terms of tourism GDP and seventh in terms of direct employment in the sector. The Latin American giant also stands fifth in the travel-business world chart for specific investment increase over the past year.
600,000 incoming tourists are foretasted for Brazil’s 2014 FIFA World Cup, a sum that actually represents a 12 percent increase in foreign visitors to the country.
The forecasting data presented in Salvador, Bahia last March by Sports Ministry’s Soccer Secretary, Alcino Rocha, reveal very interesting trends for the country’s economy.
The FIFA mass event will cause the direct employment of 330,000 during the period of time that goes from 2009 to 2014, bringing consumption numbers to increase by R$5.1 billion during the next four years.
The impressively positive trends shown by Mr. Rocha are certainly an effect of the strong infrastructure investments by both private and public investors. R$11.5 billion will be the the overall fund injection for urban mobility projects, from which R$7.7 billion, represent the sum that the Brazilian Government plans to invest.
The WTTC is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry, with chief executives of some 100 of the world’s leading companies as its members.
The 2010 WTTC report, interestingly, ranked Lebanon first worldwide in terms of the growth of its travel and tourism industry, followed by Qatar (10.9 percent) and Sri Lanka (10.2 percent). The WTTC study also points out the global tourism sector economy should grow by 0.5 percent this year after the 4.8 percent decrease in 2009.