As tourism in Brazil opens up to international visitors once again, Ceará looks forward to the high Christmas season. Visitor figures are increasing in the state every month and Ceará tourism has grown by almost 13% this year. In addition, Air France has resumed its weekly connections to Paris with more Fortaleza-France flights on the horizon.
Third-highest tourism figures in Brazil
The latest data for Ceará tourism points to a 5.1% increase in August, one of the busiest months in the Northeast Brazil holiday calendar. The month-on-month figure was the third-highest rise in the country and well ahead of the national average (4-6%).
According to the Brazilian Institute of Statistics (IBGE), in August tourism rose by 58.8% in Ceará compared to the same month in 2020. And in the first eight months of this year, it grew by 12.7%.
Busy holiday weekends this autumn
Brazil celebrates several public holidays during the autumn and so far, three have posted excellent results for Ceará tourism. In early September, accommodation in the state reached around 90% occupancy, a figure that was repeated over the October and November holiday weekends.
“People have started travelling again, especially in the second half of this year,” said Vera Lúcia, President of the Ceará Tourist Accommodation Association (AMHT-CE), quoted in Diario de Nordeste. “The sector is performing much better than last year and we’re looking forward to events at New Year.”
Coastal holiday spots popular
Hotels have been particularly busy in coastal areas such as Jericoacoara, Cumbuco and Flecheiras so far this autumn. Visitors are mainly from Ceará state itself and cities such as Sao Paulo.
Accommodation in Fortaleza has fared less well so far this year. Hotels reached 70% occupancy during the September holiday, but the figure dropped to 65% in October. However, Lúcia is confident that tourism will continue to rise as activities such as conferences and congresses return to normal levels.
Paris-Fortaleza flights resume
Most of the tourists currently visiting Ceará are Brazilians, but the skies are opening up again to international flights. The Air France direct route linking Paris and Fortaleza resumed in late October and is back at its usual three flights a week. KLM is about to start its Amsterdam-Fortaleza route too.
In late October, the Ceará state governor, Camilo Santana, met Zoran Jelkic, Vice-President of Air France in Paris to discuss expanding the frequency of flights. Santana underlined the importance of the Air France-KLM air hub at Fortaleza.
“The hub has taken Ceará tourism to new heights within Brazil,” he said, “because the number of international flights from Fortaleza has increased six-fold.” Santana added that the Air France flights are “very important for our state as they stimulate tourism and the economy”. Jelkic expressed the company’s willingness to consider expansion.
(Source: Ceará Tourism, Opovo, Diario do Nordeste)