ecocity braSil


Although Brazil has a varied and beautiful landscape and fabulous climate, its international tourist industry is still in a relatively fledgling state, largely because the traditionally demanding and free-spending tourists - Americans and Northern Europeans - have, until very recently, generally holidayed closer to home in Mexico and Europe respectively. Today, with the proliferation of lower air fares and the increased desire to experience something new, exciting and off-the-beaten track, Brazil is appearing on the radars of more and more tourists, particularly those that wish to try their hands at ecotourism.

Brazil receives the highest number of foreign visitors in South America and is the second largest inbound market (after Mexico) in Latin America. Brazil also has a large and vibrant domestic market and in most destinations Brazilian tourists far outnumber foreign visitors. 

Northeastern Brazil is the most popular tourist region in the country, not only with foreigners but also among the locals too with 50 million Brazilians holidaying there in 2008. The pristine scenery and soothing temperatures are a world away from the heat and hassle of the cities of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sãu Paolo, which is where most domestic tourists originate from. In addition studies for Embratur, the Brazlian Tourist Authority cite ‘ecotourism' as the motivation for travel for 6% of internal tourists.

Foreign demand has been followed by foreign capital investment, with direct foreign investment in the country's tourism industry exceeding €24 million in 2007 (Source: The Economist)

With its fantastic coastline that is dotted with an amazing array of beaches, its massive areas of rainforest and its verdant terrain, Brazil is ideal territory for ecotourism. Thankfully, the government and a number of responsible developers and tour operators see things this way too; the desire to visit and explore Brazil is growing stronger by the day, but so is the desire to maintain its beauty and appeal for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Brazil's government and a number of private landowners had the foresight to predict that their nation's unmatched beauty would soon start attracting tourists the world over. So, as a result, there are now a number ecotourism trails throughout the country, particularly in the north-east region; an initiative that began approximately ten years ago as a way to raise money to protect the rainforest has been widely deemed a success and today, numerous private tour operators with plenty of knowledge and experience of the rainforest offer trekking experiences all year round. 

Tourists arrive armed with cash and cameras, and are guided through the country's astounding beauty; camping out under the stars, canoeing up the Amazon and Parnaíba Rivers and learning all about one of earth's last true wildernesses, the great Amazon rainforest. They leave with amazing memories and an appreciation of just how wonderful yet fragile nature can be, while the locals appreciate the opportunity to work in their own backyard, safe in the knowledge that while the forest's beauty - and not its valuable wood, land or wildlife - is making money, its future is assured.


About Brazil