Tourism in Brazil in 2023 exceeds UNWTO forecasts

Tourism in Brazil in 2023 exceeds UNWTO forecasts

With the mass return of international holidays in 2023, many countries saw their visitor figures soar. Tourism in Brazil was no exception and the country saw its data exceed World Tourism Organization predictions.

International tourism in Brazil back on track

After a lukewarm 2022, 2023 heralded the return of international tourists to Brazil. Last year, the country welcomed a similar number of foreign visitors as it did in 2019, according to the latest data from the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism. Over 5.9 million foreigners travelled to Brazil last year, just 7% shy of 2019 figures.

Last year’s arrivals were 62.7% higher than in 2022 when just 3.6 million international tourists visited Brazil. More importantly, the figure is 3% above the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates.

Almost on par with 2019

To ascertain whether tourism has made a full recovery since the pandemic, analysts compare data from 2023 with that from 2019. In Brazil’s case, the two numbers are almost on par.

For example, the 5.9 million international visitors last year represented 93% of the total for 2019. Figures for December 2023 showed even better results, at 95.2% of 2019’s total.

Majority of South American tourists

Brazil appeals above all to tourists from neighbouring countries. Argentinian visitors make up the lion’s share of foreign tourism in Brazil, accounting for 32% of the total in 2023. Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay make up 20.4% between them.

The number of tourists from Chile was its highest ever last year and as a result, Chile took third place in the table. Paraguayan visitors also soared in 2023, with 424,500 the highest since 1999.

Visitors from the US numbered 668,500, the third highest and accounting for 11% of the total. France provides the most visitors from Europe, followed by Portugal, Germany and the UK.

Most popular entry points

Sao Paulo continues to be the most popular place to enter Brazil. Last year, over 2.1 million foreign visitors chose the financial capital to start their holiday in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul were considerably further behind, with just over 1 million arrivals each.

Foreign revenue ahead of 2019

In financial terms, tourism in Brazil has surpassed its 2019 threshold. Between January and November, revenue from foreign visitors exceeded R$31 billion, well ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

November was a particularly buoyant month, with R$3 billion in revenue. The figure is 13.3% higher than the same month in 2011 and the best since 1995. For the Minister of Tourism in Brazil, Marcelo Freixo, Embratur's promotion lies behind the significant uptick in 2023.

“Our team worked effectively to attract new international flights,” he said. “As a result, we increased our air connections by 40% and promoted Brazil in our target international markets.”

(Source: Ministry of Tourism)