In 2023, Brazil earned billions of dollars from international tourism, a sign of recovery from the pandemic. As we start 2024, the country is optimistic about the future. Embratur (Brazilian Agency for International Tourism Promotion) has predicted that around 200,000 foreign tourists will visit Brazil during the Carnival, and they are expected to spend around R$900 million in the country.
Marcelo Freixo, the president of Embratur, believes this will lead to three important outcomes: employment, income, and joy, which are essential for everyone. Tourism generates almost 8 million jobs in Brazil, benefiting many, such as cab drivers, Uber drivers, beach vendors, waiters, and more. Freixo emphasized that tourism is more than just leisure; it is a vital sector of Brazil’s economy.
Last year, foreign spending during the Carnival increased by 56%, according to data from VCA (Visa Consulting & Analytics). Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay were the most significant source markets for foreign tourists to the country during this period.
The cities that saw the highest rate of growth in international transactions and were most visited by foreigners were Florianópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Bombinhas (SC), São Paulo, and Balneário Camboriú (SC).
The CNC (National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism) estimates that the projection for foreign tourists this year will contribute to a total revenue of R$9 billion during Carnival 2024. If this figure is achieved, it would represent a 10% increase from last year’s period and be the first time surpassing the pre-pandemic period.
Explosion of Dengue Cases
Brazil has seen a significant increase in the number of dengue fever cases as compared to last year. Since the beginning of this year, the country has recorded four times more dengue cases than in the same period last year. The Brazilian authorities are grappling with this situation as the government expects millions of tourists for Rio’s Carnival.
The two most populated cities in Brazil, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, have introduced measures to tackle the surge in dengue cases before the start of the Carnival.
According to the Ministry of Health’s latest figures, Brazil has reported 345,235 probable cases of dengue fever in the first five weeks of the year. This is almost four times more than last year’s period, which recorded 93,298 cases. Additionally, the ministry has confirmed 31 deaths due to dengue, while 234 other deaths are being analyzed and could be linked to the disease.
Local authorities in Sao Paulo inaugurated an Emergency Operations Center to monitor the progress of a disease spreading in Latin America’s largest megalopolis and over 600 other cities. To combat the transmission of this disease, a drone equipped with larvicide was tested to neutralize mosquitoes. The symptoms of the disease are similar to those of malaria.
The Brazilian government announced two weeks ago that it would launch a free vaccination campaign in February, targeting 3.2 million people. However, the production capacity of these vaccines is currently limited, which does not allow for mass vaccination.