The tourism ministry of the government of Brazil has announced plans to waive visas for visitors from a number of countries in a bid to encourage more tourism to the country. During the Rio Olympics earlier this year of visas were waived for visitors from four countries, America, Japan, Canada and Australia. The new proposal by Tourism Minister Marx Beltrao is planning to extend this waiver for a further twelve months. Should this be successful there will be further initiatives to encourage tourism to this incredibly diverse destination.
In a bid to help pull Brazil out of the deep recession it finds itself in, it is hoped that this move will boost tourism in an already ailing economy. Visitors from the USA are being particularly targeted as their numbers are particularly small with American citizens making up less than 10% of the visitors to Brazil. Conversely visitors from Brazil travelling to the USA has risen sharply over the past few years. It is believed that the visa waiver will become permanent should the trail be a success.
Visitors from a number of countries including all those in the European Union, Russia and Latin American already do not need a visa to enter Brazil while tourist visas for Americans can be $160.
Meanwhile another target for the Brazilian tourism officials is the Chinese tourist. Currently only around 55, 000 Chinese visit Brazil each year and it is hoped that by waiving visas for the Chinese this figure will soar.
In a bid to encourage tourism following the huge exposure Rio received from hosting the 2016 Olympics Brazil is also planning to remove hotel taxes from those paying with international credit cards to make the country a more appealing destination choice and it is hope that these measures will help to bring economic stability back to a struggling economy.