Staycations lead Brazilian tourism in 2021

Staycations lead Brazilian tourism in 2021

In the face of international travel restrictions, holidaymakers worldwide have turned to staycations in unprecedented numbers. Brazil is no exception and in 2021, staycations were the mainstay for Brazilian tourism. Domestic air traffic gradually returned to levels approaching those seen in 2019 and destinations offering sun and beach were the overall favourites. 

20% increase in domestic air travel 

According to figures released by the Brazilian Airport Authorities (ANAC), passenger traffic increased by 20.4% last year compared to 2020. Over the 12 months, some 62.5 million Brazilians took a domestic flight, up from the 51.9 million who flew the previous year. 

Furthermore, December saw the most monthly passenger figures since January 2020. The 7.7 million was the highest for 21 months. 

Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo was the busiest in Brazil last year with over 24 million. Brasilia and Viracopos, also in Sao Paulo, stood in second and third places with over 10 million passengers each. 

Still ground to cover 

Despite the buoyant figures for December, Brazilian tourism still has ground to cover before it returns to its pre-pandemic levels. Passenger numbers for 2021 sit over 43% below those seen in 2019. 

However, industry analysts are optimistic. Last December, LATAM announced that it has recovered 95% of its domestic flights in Fortaleza and had a seat occupancy of 77%. The figures led the airline to set up its domestic flight hub in the capital of Ceará. 

Sunshine and beach the most popular 

Brazilian holidaymakers overwhelmingly choose a sunny coast when it comes to preferences for destinations. According to a survey from, 7 out of the top 10 favourite holiday spots last year were in resorts offering warm weather and good beaches. 

On the list of preferred destinations were several in Northeast including Porto de Galinhas, Natal and Fortaleza. At the same time, the top choices in the south were Rio de Janeiro and Florianopolis. 

For the Minister of Tourism, Gilson Machado, the list confirms the trends for 2021, which predicted the high value of staycations and a preference for outdoor holidays. “This year was all about reactivation and confidence in tourism,” he said. “We have seen destinations with higher visitor figures than before the pandemic and we expect even better results in 2022.”

Trends for Brazilian tourism this year

2022 will see a continuation of staycations with travellers looking for flexibility when booking. They also want to experience workcations and to stay in self-catering establishments.

These three trends are revealed in a survey for Brazilian tourism this year. It finds that although price and destination remain the top priorities when making a reservation, flexibility is also essential. For example, 18% of those interviewed said they look for establishments that offer free cancellation and rebooking. 

According to the survey, staycations could also be a chance to work remotely. Spending a week or two longer in a destination while working at the same time may well be a trend this year. 

And Brazilians will place the most importance on ‘who’ and ‘where’ this year. 90% declared their intention to travel with their family, 89% with their partner and 77% with close friends. When it comes to where to stay, self-catering options will continue to top the list of preferences. 58% of Brazilians said they’ll be looking for the privacy and space afforded by this type of holiday let in 2022.

(Source: Brazilian Ministry of Tourism, ANAC,