Brazil Country Market
Insights and Opportunities
Travel & Tourism Sector
Overview: Brazil is the seventh largest source of overseas visitors to the United States and is the top arrivals market for South America, accounting for 28 percent of arrivals from the continent. Brazil has a very diverse population with diverse tastes. With only 5 million outbound travelers from a population of 185 million, and the country’s economic growth prompting more middle-class travelers, growth seems likely to continue for many years.
In 2007 Brazil surpassed its previously estimated growth of 8%. In 2007, Brazil had a double-digit increase in the number of visitors to the United States of 21.7% over 2006, which represents 639,431 Brazilian visitors. In the first eleven months of 2008, Brazil had a 20% growth over 2007 numbers in the same period and reached 674,000 visitors to the U.S. It is estimated that 2008 will close with more than 730,000 Brazilian visitors traveling to the United States.
While wholesalers are key travel distributors, Brazil’s 10,000 travel agencies, 60% of who issue international tickets, are most important. As many tour operators began as travel agencies, many do both, and stiffer competition has prompted most to upgrade technology and improve efficiency.
Associations are important in Brazil’s travel industry. The Brazilian Tour Operators Association (Braztoa), formed by 60 operators, is the main association of tour operators, and the Brazilian Travel Agencies Association (ABAV) has approximately 3,500 members responsible for just over 80% of travel sales. In 2008 the majority of Brazil’s visitors to the U.S. went through a travel agency, while others went directly to airlines, through the Internet, or used state/city travel offices.
Opportunities: Brazil’s typical visitor to the U.S. has visited at least once before. The high season for Brazilian travel to the U.S. is Dec-Jan, and then July, because of school holidays. Shorter trips during public holidays are also very popular.
Although not as popular as before, fly and drive trips are still popular and one can often find Brazilian families driving through Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana or New England. According to OTTI, in 2007, Brazilian travelers to the U.S. averaged 2.3 trips, spent 21.7 nights, and visited 1.5 states and 2.1 destinations. Brazilian travelers are among the biggest spenders when traveling to the U.S., averaging $3,557 per traveler. The greatest proportion of Brazilian visitors are in the age groups 35-44 and 44-54, married and professional, followed by the age groups 25-34, 55+, and 15-24 year of age.
Brazil’s business travel industry continues to grow – over 40% of total outbound trips from Brazil are for business. Brazilian business travelers are lucrative targets as they often include some leisure days during their trip and spend more than the average traveler. The total 2008 numbers for all sales for international business trips and services in Brazil presented a major growth and reached 15 billion dollars.
Brazil’s outbound ski market, dominated by the upper-middle and upper class, has grown steadily. Argentina and Chile are the most popular ski destinations during Brazil’s winter (June-Aug), the U.S. during Brazil’s summer (Dec-Feb). Colorado, particularly Aspen, is popular, and many Brazilians have bought houses there. Ski tour operators predict more Brazilians in Aspen and Vail in 2009, while Tahoe, Jackson Hole and Park City will remain popular.
The U.S. is Brazil’s second most popular destination, behind only Argentina. More Brazilians traveled to the U.S. in 2008 because of promotions offered by U.S. companies and the Brazilian Real’s increased value during the year.
Travel and tourism promotion in Brazil has seen success over the past decade. Brazil’s large and diverse population means the country has a diverse set of interests from which U.S. destinations can recruit travelers. For example, though Brazil has limited snowfall, U.S. ski areas successfully attract Brazilians. For a U.S. destination, finding the hook for potential Brazilian travelers could lead to great returns.