Brazil ready for (partly religious) “tourism revolution”

Election of Pope Francis in 2013 has boosted Brazil tourism
Brazil is being shaped by two revolutions that will benefit inbound tourism in the years to come, according to the World Tourism Organisation. Brazil is perfectly placed to take advantage of global trends, says Marcio Favilla, UNWTO director, at an event to mark the launch of the new Braztoa Yearbook.
Braztoa, which represents 90% of Brazil’s tour operators, said there were 1.35 billion international arrivals in Brazil last year, predicted to rise to 1.4 billion by 2020, and 1.8 billion by 2030.
“Still only one sixth of the population of the world travel internationally,” Favilla said. “The opportunity is there for all to see. There are two revolutions at work in Brazil today – the internet revolution and the travel revolution – both of which are shaping the world for the future.”
He added: “The more people travel the more people get to know each other and the less social problems there will be in future. I believe the social role is a very important aspect of tourism.”
A total of 330 million inbound and domestic tourists now visit religious sites in Brazil every year. One site alone, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida, received 12 million visits in 2014 – twice as many visitors as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Brazil has the largest number of Catholics in the world, at 12%, and the election of Latin American pontiff Pope Francis in 2013 has also driven tourism.
“Religious tourism plays a vital role in Brazil’s travel industry and the wider economy,” said Lawrence Reinisch, director of WTM Latin America, which hosted the event. “As a country Brazil has an arguably unrivalled wide range of religious tourist attractions for domestic, inter-regional and international tourists to visit.”
TTG Digital
[pictured: Basilica of National Shrine of our Lady of Aparecida, one of Catholicism’s most visited destinations]

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