By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Thursday, November 17th, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism announced that for 2016 it has made significant investments to strengthen Brazil’s tourism infrastructure. In this calendar year the Ministry has so far unveiled over one thousand new or renovated tourism-related works in 24 states across the country at an estimated cost of about R$570 million.
“We are committed to increasing the supply of tourism-related services, ensuring the right conditions for the sector to develop in a coordinated and sustainable way,” said Minister of Tourism, Marx Beltrão.
“For this we need to ensure the necessary structure to strengthen domestic tourism in its various forms – business, leisure, ecological, sporting, cultural, religious. And these investments are essential to reach this goal,” he explained.
Across the country, in 2016, the Tourism Ministry joined together with local state and municipal governments to invest in various projects to promote Brazil as a destination for both domestic and foreign tourists alike.
One of the biggest investments made this year was in the construction of a new Fish Market in Fortaleza. Famous for its beaches and party atmosphere, Fortaleza, in Northeast Brazil, has long been a popular landing spot for both Brazilian and overseas tourists.
Built for a cost of R$4.3 million, the new and modern Fortaleza Fish Market, has received rave reviews on TripAdvisor and other travel sites for its fresh seafood, all locally sourced, arriving daily from the hundreds of fishermen who roam the local waters. Market vendors can also prepare the seafood on site so visitors can enjoy the catch-of-the-day without leaving the market, or while strolling along neighboring Mucuripe Beach.
Another one of the Tourism Ministry’s major investments this year can be found in another Northeast city, Teresina. In June, the Ministry unveiled Parque da Cidadania (Citizenship Park), an immense eight-hectare recreational park that offers visitors areas for sports, hiking, concerts, cultural performances, and family outings. The Ministry of Tourism, along with the municipal authorities, invested R$9.7 million in the park, which includes a 1,500-seat amphitheater, an art museum, and a reflection pool.
Among the one thousand works launched by the Tourism Ministry this year were smaller, discrete projects, aimed to improve the tourism sector’s infrastructure. In São Paulo, for example, the Ministry launched 141 tourism works in 2016, at an investment of R$59 million.
The projects in São Paulo state included the implementation of tourist signs in the neighborhood of Ribeirão Preto, one of the most popular tourist areas in the state; the renovation of Concha Acústica (Acoustic Shell), an outdoor concert venue in Jaboticabal; and the expansion of Balneário Água Azul, a recreational campsite and water park in Guarulhos.
Locally, in Rio de Janeiro state, the Ministry unveiled eighteen tourism-related works in 2016, investing R$9.5 million. Among the works carried out in Rio municipalities were the building of an events center at Parque Ecoturístico do Trabalhador in Vassouras, the renovation and expansion of the bus terminal in Sumidouro, and the construction of an events center in São Pedro da Aldeia.
In addition to the tourism projects already unveiled this year, the Ministry of Tourism has an additional five thousand works currently in progress across the country, with 164 in São Paulo state and 24 in Rio de Janeiro state.