With a new government in place as of January, Brazil is trying to grow its tourism business.
Following years of political instability, President Jair Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and has stated that he wants to embrace the economic benefits of tourism.
“It’s important to highlight that the current momentum is very important. Wherever I go, I try to call people’s attention to this fact. Now we have a president that is a major ally to tourism,” said Brazil’s Minister of Tourism Marcelo Álvaro Antonio, in the 2020 Brazil Market Report by Cruise Industry News.
Álvaro Antonio said that since taking office, his team is making great progress in turning around Brazil’s tourism sector, highlighted by nixing the need for visas from four key source markets: Japan, the United States, Canada and Australia.
Alvaro Antonio also noted the importance of the cruise industry.
“The cruise ships are a fundamental activity to the country,” he continued. “There is huge potential in this area.”
While cruise lines ask for more transparency and legal certainty, more adequate operational costs and better legislation, Álvaro Antonio promised that a “new law, which will be important to the sector” is in the works.
He also announced recently that the country will get more than a dozen new cruise ports in the future.
“One of my concerns when I assumed the office was to understand why only seven cruise ships are sailing on our shores,” he said, noting inadequate port infrastructure as a major reason.
The administration is taking the right steps to fix the ports, having asked the Brazilian Development Bank for a credit line for port infrastructure projects.
“We plan to build, at least 15 new cruise ports,” Álvaro Antonio said. “We want ports specifically built for tourists. It’s not acceptable anymore to receive the passengers in between containers.”