Close to the Caribbean, the Brazilian state of the Amazonas is a key destination for cruise ships on longer itineraries.
“We received 24,000 cruise passengers during the 2016-2017 season. During the five months of operation, the passengers spent some $14 million in the Manaus region,” said Oreni Braga, tourism secretary.
Meanwhile, the national domestic market saw almost 400,000 passengers during the same season.
Still, for the region, the numbers are relevant.
“It is a very important niche to us, we treat it well,” said Braga, noting that the local economic benefit from cruise calls.
“The cruise guests like to go shopping, and the average spending in the ports is very high. Their purchasing power is huge,” she added.
Most of the passengers come from the United States and various European countries with strong cruise markets, such as England. “Recently, we started to receive significant numbers of Australians too”, the secretary said.
The Germans, on the other hand, are trending down.
“We are working to try to attract those German ships back,” she added.
The local authorities are working to improve the guest experience. Security is a priority, with 80 personnel recently added to the police ranks.
In Manaus, port infrastructure has also been improved. “We had a problem that was making it difficult for the ships to dock. But that was sorted out, and the operations are running very smoothly. It’s been two entire seasons without any major issue,” Braga said.