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Booming Brazil bursting with hotspots

Published 10th May 2007

A new report by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism has identified four key tourist hotspots that are set for a boom in visitor numbers and wealth over the next few years…
The report for a Portuguese language magazine revealed that three of these towns are in Bahia in the North East of Brazil, Belmonte in Bahia, Aquiraz in Ceara and Sao Miquel do Gostoso in Rio Grande Do Norte. The fourth is Cambara du Su, which is already well-known in Brazil due a number of TV shows that are based there.

Bahia has been particularly successful in transforming itself from a state with an agricultural base to one that leads the way in tourism. It has achieved this by implementing a 3 stage policy that stretches right back to the 70’s, when it initially identified the areas that had the highest tourist potential.

It subsequently developed a programme of policies aimed at enhancing the culinary, religious, craft and cultural reputation of the state in order to complement the fantastic natural landscape already present.

Huge leap forward in the 1980s
Then in the 1980’s, the next step was taken with the creation of the Bahiatursa, the official organ of state tourism, which is responsible for marketing its destinations and ensuring that events like the carnival in Salvador (which now attracts 2 million visitors) are firmly on the national and international tourist map.

A huge leap forward was taken in the 1990’s, when the state entered the Programme for the Development of the North East (Prodetur), through which the state granted funding to a wide range of infrastructure and public service projects necessary to enable large scale tourism.

Across the state, international tourist numbers have jumped from just 5,600 in 1979 to more than 340,000 in 2005, with the domestic visitor total increasing from around 1 million to more than 5 million during the same period. Revenue from tourism jumped from $60 million to more than $1.2 billion, a trend which the whole state hopes will continue into the future.

New investment signals ‘radical change’ in the areas
First and foremost of these new destinations is Belmonte, a town of 18,000 residents that currently has just 180 hotel beds, which is set for investment of more than £84 million as developers and hotel chains from England, Spain, France and Switzerland plan the construction of 5 resorts in the area.

The investment amounts to around 28 times the current GDP of the area and will add more than 1100 rooms, creating nearly 2,000 jobs for the area, a process which the secretary for Tourism in Belmonte, Eraclito Lima Santana said would cause, “a radical change in the economic profile of the area.”

Source: ' Move Channel Ltd '

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