- 10% of visitors to 2014 World Cup were from US, staying longer than the average traveller and spending the most money (Vicente Neto, Head of Embratur, Brazil’s tourism promotion agency)
- 20.46% increase in flight-volume from Miami to Brazilian cities during June and July (Brazilian Ministry of Tourism)
- US corporation General Motors investing additional US$2.8 billion in Brazil over next 5 years
The 2014 Brazil World Cup was undoubtedly a great success. With over 1 million overseas tourists from 200 countries visiting during the tournament alone, the knock-on effect for the Latin American powerhouse is that international tourist figures for the year are on track to reach 7 million, up dramatically on 2013’s figures.
One country that added great weight to these statistics was the US, whose visitors made up more than 10% of those arriving in Brazil during the World Cup, behind only Argentine visitors, according to Vicente Neto, Head of Embratur, Brazil’s official tourism promotion agency. Not only this but tourists from the US stayed on average two additional days (a total of 15 days) when compared to the standard traveller, and bought more match tickets than any other nation after Brazilian home fans, thus highlighting their impressive engagement with the tournament.
And with the World Cup raising £7.5 billion for the country, it is clear that US visitors helped add great weight to this figure, with Neto reporting that they were the demographic that spent the greatest amount of money throughout the tournament too.
Interest in the 2014 World Cup from US shores was heightened by a visit from Joe Biden, America’s Vice President, to host city Natal’s Arena das Dunas, where he was in attendance to watch his home side triumph in the match against Ghana. This unusual move from a senior statesman marked significant progress for already strong US-Brazil relations, proving to the world that their affiliation was steadfast and enduring.
Traditionally operating a flow of tourism in the other direction, Brazilians have long-since been visiting the US – primarily to and via nearby Miami, Florida – to take advantage of all that the Sunshine State has to offer. With Brazil its number one international destination, Miami’s International Airport revealed that an extra 178,000 air passengers used routes to and from Brazil’s 11 cities in June this year, compared to 2013 figures, with July seeing an extra 6.9% in the numbers of Brazilians visiting Miami (figures of 187,852 passengers).
The World Cup, however, turned the tables on this flow, with the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism revealing that there was an increase of 8.7% in flight-volume from North America to Brazil, with Miami registering a particularly noticeable growth of 20.46% in the number of flights to Brazilian cities during June and July. This increase in interest generated an important opportunity for the South American country to showcase itself as a top tourist destination, with 95% of those visiting saying they would go back.
This positive momentum has been felt throughout the US airline industry, with many announcing new routes to meet the growing demand. Major US airline, American Airlines, for example, recently revealed that they are looking to launch flights from both Miami and New York to Viracopos International Airport in Campinas, Brazil, with Azul Brazilian Airlines looking to further link Brazil with NYC, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando when it begins US flights from December.
For those looking to visit Brazil themselves, or to capitalise on the growth in tourism, leading Brazilian real estate developer, Ritz Property, are developing Costa Azul in the exclusive neighbourhood of Petrópolis in Natal. Natal saw 24,000 football fans visit during the 2014 World Cup, with the host city therefore expecting a positive legacy of increased tourism going forwards. This bold development offers a range of two and three bedroom luxury apartments, all equipped with modern appliances and stylish contemporary décor, with breathtaking views towards the Potengi River, the Atlantic Ocean and the Fort of the Three Wise Men. A bar, pool, gymnasium and spa complete the luxurious experience and provide Costa Azul residents with a private retreat for work, pleasure or play. Prices start from R$411,488 / £110,000.
Growth has not only been caused by the World Cup highlighting Brazil as a successful tourist destination, however, Neto also revealed that around $3 billion of business was done over the course of the tournament in the country too. This news followed closely in the footsteps of Brazil (alongside Mexico) being identified as the ‘primary expansion target’ for US companies, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s ‘Driving Growth in Latin America’ report.
One such US company whose relationship with Brazil has gone strength to strength in recent times is multinational corporation General Motors. Announcing an additional US$2.8 billion to be invested in Brazil over the coming five years, Mary Teresa Barra, General Motor’s CEO emphasised their steadfastness to doing business in Brazil, saying,
“We’ve been here for ninety years and will stay here for another ninety years. For us it is a very important market. Our commitment is long term.”
This longevity of relationship, along with growing financial investment in Brazil, proves that US-Brazil associations are stronger than ever, an encouraging sign for anyone looking to invest in the country, as Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Director for Ritz Property, explains,
“Now is certainly the time to invest in Brazil – following the great success of the World Cup, it is not just a feeling of goodwill that remains in the country, the tournament has left a tangible legacy of rising tourism, growing foreign investment and enriched overseas relations, all very positive signs for those putting money into the country.”
And this is all in advance of the upcoming Olympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. In light of the vast impact of US interest in the World Cup, Brazil’s official tourism promotion agency has announced that they will be channelling more of their Olympics’ advertising budget into the US market in order to capitalise and build on the great success felt previously. The campaign will focus on the warm hospitality of Brazil, highlighted as one of the key aspects that won over foreign visitors to the World Cup, and be part of a R$36.7 billion investment into the country by the home nation.
It is hoped that, like with the football tournament, the Olympic Games will be a wise investment for Brazil as hosts, firmly crystallising their role on the world stage as an emerging nation with prosperity and opportunity at the core, offering much to US investors – and beyond.
For those looking to capitalise on the millions of tourists, many of whom will be from US shores, set to descend on Brazil during the 2016 Games, Ritz Property are offering the chance to invest in Mercure Natal, a contemporary 252-suite 4-star hotel. Operated by Accor, one of the biggest hotel groups in the world, the resort is located in the upmarket district of Ponte Negra in Natal and is set to open in 2015. With a private swimming pool, business centre and 24-hour concierge, and just 300 metres from Ponta Negra beach, Mercure Natal is a firm investment choice.
For more information on Ritz Property developments and investing in North-East Brazil, contact the team today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit www.ritzproperty.com