chapter  3
31 Pages

Regional and Domestic Mass Tourism in Brazil: An Overview

WithAntonio Carlos Diegues

Tourism is a very important sector of the Brazilian economy, and, as in many other developing countries, it was used by successive governments as a means for fast economic development and foreign currency exchange. In 1995, 55 per cent of all international tourists came from South America, especially from the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay). The number of tourists from the North has declined in the last few years, due to increasing violence and the high costs of touring in Brazil. On the other hand, domestic tourism has been growing steadily since the early 1970s. Although it is not possible to estimate the exact number of nationals participating in tourism activities, today the sector demonstrates its weight in the Brazilian economy and its potential for developing backward areas. The present study aims to assess the social and economic importance of national and regional tourism in Brazil, as well as the environmental and socio-cultural impacts of tourism-related activities.