The period of unilateral visa exemption for Australian, Canadian, American and Japanese tourists visiting Brazil has started, expecting to bring more than the originally planned number of tourists during the period of the Olympic Games.
Some 300,000 to 500,000 travellers are expected to visit during this time, injecting USD$ 1.7 billion into the Brazilian economy, according to the projections of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
According to the Joint Ordinance No. 216, published in December 2015, citizens of these four countries are guaranteed visa free entry between 1 June and 18 September, with a limited stay of 90 days from the date of first entry in the country.
The exemption is directed towards international visitors who come to Brazil exclusively for tourism purposes. The visitor does not need to prove that they have tickets to attend any Olympics event.
The Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur) has taken many actions abroad to highlight the invitation to international visitors to go to Brazil in 2016 and enjoy the postcards perfect sceneries in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities.
Some of these actions include participating in international trade shows, training travel agents, digital strategies, inflight magazine campaigns, advertising at airports and the launch of the new Visit Brasil website.
Embratur’s interim president, José Antonio Parente, said “Embratur has made a strong effort to share the news about the visa waiver measure, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in these four countries. We believe in consistent returns.”
According to Parente, in Japan, for example, the recent interest generated by the local press – after the presence of an Embratur technical team in Tokyo – generated record sales of tickets for the Olympic Games.
“The major Japanese travel agencies have already released almost all the sale of their tour packages,” Parente added.
Up to April 2016, the 2016 Rio Organizing Committee reported that Australia ranks fifth in the ranking of that guaranteed greater volume of visitor entries for the first Olympics in the history of South America, with Australian tourists have already bought more than 53,000 tickets.
According to Embratur’s Executive Coordinator of Intelligence and Tourist Promotion, Bruno Reis, the number of Australian tourists increases considerably during major international events.
“In the year of the World Cup, when 67,000 Australians were in Brazil, there was an increase of 33% over the previous period,” emphasized Reis, who attended recently Latin America Travel Week, the largest tourism fair in Sydney and Melbourne, to publicize the visa waiver with the Australian specialized trade selling travel to Latin America.