Brazil plans new visa waiver program to boost tourism

Brazil’s government is planning on introducing a visa waiver for visitors from the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia with hopes to further boost tourism and attract foreign investment to the country. The plan might eventually include China.

The idea was proposed by the new Minister of Tourism, Marx Beltrao and would extend a 12-month trial period offering visa waiver program similar to the one provided to visitors from the four countries during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this year.

Minister’s proposal still requires approval by other departments of the Brazilian government, specifically the foreign ministry which issues the visas.

Indeed, the visa waiver program could become permanent if there is a significant rise in the number of tourists and the governments of the four countries implement measures to remove visa requirements for Brazilian visitors.

Visitors from most countries in Latin America and the European Union do not need visas to travel to Brazil, but tourists arriving from United States for example, are required to pay visa fee of approximately US $160.

According to the survey released by the Ministry of Tourism earlier this year, as many as 575,796 US tourists visited Brazil in 2015, making it the second-highest total of any country after Argentina.

Introducing a visa waiver is likely to significantly boost this number.

Ministry’s figures also show that on average American tourists are the highest spending visitors in the country, on average spending US $125 a day compared to US $87 spent by other international visitors.

During the period of Olympic visa waiver this summer, 75% of tourists from US, Japan, Australia and Canada benefited from visa exemption program and spent US $142.1 million in the country.

According to Mr. Beltrao the amount spent is significantly higher than the US $18 million in visa fees that the country foregone in that period.

The Brazilian Tourism Institute (EMBRATUR) has predicted that Brazil will finish the year with approximately 6.6 million international tourists, 4.8% more than at the end of 2015.

So far foreign tourists spending has amounted to US $3 billion, 7% higher than during the same period last year. In August alone, the tourists spent US $602 million according to the institute.

CFO of the multi award-winning developer Ritz-G5, Paul Telfer, supports the idea to introduce visa waiver to the four selected countries. Mr. Telfer comments,

“The decision to introduce visa waiver to the tourists arriving from Australia, Canada, America and Japan for the period of 12 months, will not only significantly increase tourism numbers, but also inject additional funding into the country, thus boosting the Brazilian economy.”

For more information on visa waiver program, contact the team on +44 207 183 7565 or visit

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