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How Much Money Does Brazil Make From Tourism


Modified: December 28, 2023

by George Mashburn



Brazil is a country renowned for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and rich history. From the iconic beaches of Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon rainforest and the majestic Iguazu Falls, Brazil offers a diverse range of attractions that captivate the hearts of tourists from around the globe. But beyond its natural and cultural wonders, Brazil is also a significant player in the global tourism industry.


In recent years, Brazil has experienced a substantial growth in international tourist arrivals, fueling a robust tourism sector that contributes significantly to the country’s economy. With its unique blend of tourist attractions, Brazil has positioned itself as a destination of choice for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion.


In this article, we will explore the revenue generated by Brazil’s tourism industry, both from international and domestic sources. We will also delve into the top tourist attractions of this diverse country and discuss the economic impact of tourism. Moreover, we will highlight the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Brazil’s tourism industry.


By understanding the importance of tourism in Brazil and the potential it holds, we can gain insights into the strategies to further develop and promote this sector, ultimately driving economic growth and employment opportunities for the country.


Overview of Brazil’s tourism industry

The tourism industry in Brazil plays a vital role in the country’s economy, contributing significantly to job creation and generating revenue. Brazil’s natural wonders, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality attract millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most popular destinations in South America.


According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism directly contributed 2.9% to Brazil’s GDP in 2019, with a total economic impact of 8.3% when including indirect and induced contributions. The industry employs millions of people across various sectors, from hospitality and transportation to food and beverage services.


One of the main drivers of Brazil’s tourism industry is international tourist arrivals. In recent years, Brazil has experienced a significant increase in visitors from around the world. In 2019, the country welcomed approximately 6.4 million international tourists, marking a steady growth rate of 10% compared to the previous year. This influx of international visitors has led to a rise in revenue and opportunities for local businesses.


Another crucial component of Brazil’s tourism industry is domestic travel. Brazilians themselves are avid travelers, exploring the vast landscapes and cultural heritage within their own country. Domestic tourism plays a vital role in driving revenue within the industry, especially during peak holiday seasons and long weekends. It allows Brazilians to discover different regions and contribute to the growth of local economies.


Brazil’s tourism industry encompasses a wide range of activities and attractions to suit diverse interests. From the bustling cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to the tranquil beaches of Bahia and the awe-inspiring nature of the Amazon rainforest, there is something for everyone. The cultural heritage of Brazil is also a significant draw, with landmarks like the Christ the Redeemer statue and Salvador’s Pelourinho attracting visitors from all over the world.


The Brazilian government has recognized the importance of the tourism industry and has taken active steps to promote the country as a top travel destination. Initiatives such as visa facilitation, infrastructure development, and marketing campaigns have helped boost Brazil’s visibility in global tourism markets.


Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic in 2020, the tourism industry in Brazil is expected to recover and regain momentum in the coming years. With its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Brazil continues to attract tourists seeking unforgettable experiences and contributing to the country’s economic growth.


Revenue from international tourist arrivals

International tourism plays a significant role in Brazil’s economy, generating substantial revenue through the spending of foreign visitors. In recent years, Brazil has witnessed a steady increase in international tourist arrivals, contributing to the growth of the tourism industry and the overall economy.


The revenue from international tourist arrivals in Brazil is driven by various factors. Firstly, the country’s diverse natural landscapes and iconic attractions attract tourists from all over the world. The stunning beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the breathtaking vistas of the Amazon rainforest, and the captivating cityscapes of São Paulo are just some of the draws for international visitors.


The revenue from international tourism is not limited to accommodation and sightseeing expenses. Visitors also spend money on transportation, dining, shopping, and various other activities, contributing to the local economy and creating job opportunities. The ripple effect of tourist spending extends to a wide range of sectors, from hospitality and retail to transportation and entertainment.


To boost international tourist arrivals and revenue, Brazil has implemented measures to facilitate travel. Visa requirements have been relaxed for certain nationalities, allowing more tourists to visit without bureaucratic obstacles. Additionally, the expansion and improvement of infrastructure, such as airports and transportation networks, have made it more convenient for travelers to explore different regions of Brazil.


In recent years, the Brazilian government has also ramped up marketing efforts to attract more international visitors. Collaborations with travel agencies, participation in international tourism fairs, and digital marketing campaigns have allowed Brazil to showcase its abundant offerings and increase its visibility in key source markets.


While international tourism in Brazil suffered a setback due to the global pandemic in 2020, the industry is poised for a rebound in the future. As travel restrictions ease and vaccinations become widespread, the demand for international travel is expected to surge. Brazil, with its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, is well-positioned to welcome visitors and generate revenue from international tourist arrivals once again.


Revenue from domestic tourism

Domestic tourism plays a crucial role in Brazil’s tourism industry, contributing significantly to the country’s revenue and supporting local businesses. Brazilians themselves are avid travelers, exploring the vast and diverse landscapes within their own country.


The revenue from domestic tourism is driven by various factors. Firstly, Brazil is a large and geographically diverse country, offering a wide range of attractions and destinations. From the pristine beaches of the Northeast region to the historic towns of Minas Gerais and the vibrant nightlife of São Paulo, there is something to suit every traveler’s preference.


During peak holiday seasons, long weekends, and summer vacations, Brazilians often embark on trips to explore different regions of their country. They contribute to the local economies by spending on accommodations, transportation, food and beverages, shopping, and various recreational activities. This influx of domestic tourists provides a significant boost to businesses in tourism-related industries.


The revenue from domestic tourism is not limited to popular tourist destinations. Many Brazilians choose to visit less-explored regions and off-the-beaten-path destinations, contributing to the development of local economies and promoting sustainable tourism. These lesser-known places benefit from the revenue generated by domestic tourists, which encourages infrastructure development and job creation, ultimately improving local communities’ quality of life.


The Brazilian government recognizes the importance of domestic tourism and has implemented measures to promote travel within the country. Initiatives such as “Discover Brazil” campaigns, discounted travel packages, and improved transportation networks make it easier and more affordable for Brazilians to explore their own country. These efforts aim to stimulate domestic tourism, boost revenue, and create employment opportunities within the tourism sector.


In 2020, domestic tourism faced challenges due to travel restrictions and safety concerns resulting from the global pandemic. However, as the situation improves and confidence in travel is restored, the demand for domestic tourism is expected to rebound. Brazilians’ affinity for travel and their willingness to support local businesses will contribute to the recovery and growth of the tourism industry, generating revenue and driving economic development across the country.


Top tourist attractions in Brazil

Brazil is a country brimming with captivating tourist attractions that cater to all interests. From stunning natural wonders to vibrant cultural landmarks, Brazil offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. Here are some of the top tourist attractions that make Brazil a must-visit destination:

  • Rio de Janeiro: Known for its iconic landmarks, Rio de Janeiro is home to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city from atop Corcovado Mountain. The city’s stunning beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema, are magnets for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts.
  • The Amazon Rainforest: Covering a vast area, the Amazon rainforest is a natural wonder that houses an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Visitors can embark on guided tours to explore the lush jungle, spot wildlife, and experience the unique cultures of indigenous communities.
  • Iguazu Falls: Located on the border between Brazil and Argentina, the Iguazu Falls are a mesmerizing sight to behold. The cascade of water plunging down the cliffs creates a breathtaking spectacle, attracting visitors from around the world.
  • Pantanal: As the world’s largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal is a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. It offers the opportunity to discover an array of exotic species, including jaguars, capybaras, and a vast array of bird species, through guided boat tours and jungle hikes.
  • Salvador da Bahia: Known for its vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture, Salvador da Bahia is a city steeped in history and tradition. The Pelourinho neighborhood, with its well-preserved colonial architecture, lively music scene, and delicious cuisine, is a must-visit for those seeking cultural immersion.
  • Fernando de Noronha: This archipelago off the northeastern coast of Brazil boasts some of the clearest turquoise waters and most pristine beaches in the country. With its rich marine biodiversity, it is a paradise for snorkeling, diving, and beach lovers.

These are just a few examples of the top tourist attractions in Brazil. The country’s vast size and diverse landscapes offer countless other destinations worth exploring, such as the historic towns of Ouro Preto and Paraty, the wine region of Vale dos Vinhedos, and the charming coastal town of Búzios.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or a combination of experiences, Brazil has something to offer every traveler. Its rich natural beauty, vibrant cities, and warm hospitality make it a destination that captures the hearts of visitors from around the world.


Economic impact of tourism in Brazil

Tourism plays a significant role in Brazil’s economy, contributing to job creation, revenue generation, and economic growth. The industry’s economic impact extends to various sectors, making it a key driver of development in the country.


One of the primary economic benefits of tourism is the creation of employment opportunities. The tourism sector in Brazil provides jobs for millions of people, from tour guides and hotel staff to transportation providers and restaurant workers. In regions heavily dependent on tourism, such as Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, the industry is a crucial source of income for local communities.


The revenue generated from tourism in Brazil boosts the country’s GDP and contributes to government revenues. Tourist spending on accommodations, transportation, dining, and shopping generates direct income for businesses and has a ripple effect throughout the economy. The revenue earned by tourism-related industries stimulates economic growth and supports the development of infrastructure.


Furthermore, tourism promotes entrepreneurship and encourages the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Local artisans, handicraft producers, and traditional restaurants benefit from tourism demand, creating opportunities for local entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services.


The economic impact of tourism is not limited to the traditional tourism sectors. It also has positive spillover effects on other industries. For example, the hospitality industry relies on various suppliers, such as food and beverage suppliers, cleaners, and maintenance services. The transportation industry benefits from increased demand for air, land, and water transportation, while the entertainment industry sees a rise in demand for cultural shows, festivals, and events.


Investments in infrastructure and amenities driven by tourism also support economic development. Improved airports, road networks, and tourist facilities not only enhance the visitor experience but also benefit local communities and businesses. The development of tourist attractions and preservation of natural and cultural heritage sites contribute to sustainable tourism, attracting more visitors and generating long-term economic benefits.


Although the tourism industry faced significant challenges in 2020 due to the global pandemic, with travel restrictions and safety concerns impacting international and domestic tourism, it is resilient and has the potential to recover quickly. As the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, Brazil’s tourism industry is poised to rebound, resuming its role as a vital economic driver and contributing to the country’s overall prosperity.


Challenges and opportunities for the tourism industry in Brazil

The tourism industry in Brazil faces both challenges and opportunities as it strives to grow and thrive. Understanding these factors is crucial for developing strategies to overcome obstacles and harness the potential of this vital sector.


One of the main challenges faced by the tourism industry in Brazil is infrastructure development. While major cities and tourist destinations have well-established facilities, there is a need to improve accessibility to more remote areas and lesser-known attractions. Enhancing transportation networks, expanding airport capacity, and investing in basic infrastructure in rural and less-developed regions can open up new opportunities for tourism growth.


Sustainability is another key challenge for the industry. As the demand for travel increases, there is a need to balance economic growth with environmental conservation and cultural preservation. Implementing sustainable practices, such as promoting responsible tourism, protecting natural resources, and supporting local communities, can help preserve the country’s natural and cultural heritage for future generations.


The global pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the tourism industry in Brazil. Travel restrictions, health and safety concerns, and changing travel behaviors have significantly impacted international and domestic tourism. The industry must adapt to new norms, prioritize safety measures, and promote confidence among travelers to recover and thrive in the post-pandemic era.


However, amidst the challenges, there are promising opportunities for the tourism industry in Brazil. The country’s vast size and diverse landscapes offer immense potential for niche tourism markets such as adventure tourism, ecotourism, and cultural tourism. By targeting specific segments, Brazil can attract a wider range of travelers and create unique experiences that set it apart from other destinations.


Furthermore, the growth of technology and digital platforms presents opportunities for increased market reach and engagement. Embracing digital marketing strategies, promoting online booking platforms, and leveraging social media can enhance Brazil’s visibility and attract tech-savvy travelers who rely on digital resources for trip planning and bookings.


The rise of sustainable tourism presents an opportunity for Brazil to position itself as a leader in responsible travel practices. By promoting sustainable initiatives, supporting eco-friendly accommodations and attractions, and educating both tourists and local communities, Brazil can attract conscientious travelers who prioritize environmental and social responsibility.


Collaboration and partnerships across sectors, including government entities, private businesses, and local communities, are crucial for the success of the tourism industry in Brazil. By working together, identifying common goals, and implementing cohesive strategies, stakeholders can overcome challenges, maximize opportunities, and ensure the sustainable growth of the industry.


Overall, the tourism industry in Brazil has immense potential. By addressing challenges, seizing opportunities, and adopting sustainable practices, Brazil can position itself as a premier global destination, driving economic growth, job creation, and enhancing the country’s image on the international stage.



Brazil’s tourism industry is a vital contributor to the country’s economy, generating revenue, creating jobs, and promoting cultural exchange. From its natural wonders to its vibrant cities, Brazil offers a wealth of attractions that captivate the hearts of travelers from around the world.


The revenue from international tourist arrivals and domestic travel plays a significant role in driving economic growth in Brazil. Visitors from abroad are attracted to the diverse landscapes, iconic landmarks, and rich cultural heritage of the country, contributing to the revenue generated through tourism. Additionally, domestic tourism allows Brazilians to explore their own country, supporting local businesses and fueling economic development.


While Brazil’s tourism industry faces challenges such as infrastructure development and sustainability, it also presents numerous opportunities for growth and innovation. By improving transportation networks, investing in lesser-known destinations, and embracing sustainable practices, Brazil can unlock the full potential of its tourism industry. Furthermore, digital marketing strategies and collaborations across sectors can enhance the industry’s visibility and attract a wide range of travelers.


In conclusion, Brazil’s tourism industry is a vibrant and dynamic sector with immense potential. By addressing challenges, seizing opportunities, and prioritizing sustainability, Brazil can position itself as a premier global destination, fostering economic prosperity, cultural exchange, and unforgettable experiences for travelers from around the world.