The world is still trying to figure out how the biggest pandemic in a century will change. In tourism, the new normal has already brought great news to national agents. Brazilians have traveled a lot in the past year and destinations in Brazil have become popular with tourists. This happened not only because of the fear of new options, dollar and a difficult economy that has led to a sharp drop in overseas travel (accounting for just 4.2% of trips last year). The sector has become more sophisticated domestically, with some cities returning to invest in tourism infrastructure. As a result, the displacement has already exceeded theCOVID-19. Overall, shipments registered last year were 14.2% higher than in 2019, before the spread of the coronavirus.
Canela in Rio Grande do Sul is an example of the efforts made by the sector over the past two years. At the beginning of 2021, he received a 35-meter glass walkway stretching over the Ferradura Valley. This place is one of the most emblematic in the Serra Gaucha. The northeast is also one of the favored destinations at this moment of tourism resurgence. “We couldn’t stay at home anymore,” says Kassia Kleska, a 55-year-old engineer who lives in a comfortable house with a swimming pool in Alphaville. “I wanted the sun and the beach, but I also wanted to do a cultural route.” She, her son Enrique, 17, and her husband Paul, 58, decided to spend ten days in the region. The first days were in Praia do Forte. “I really wanted to visit the tower house of Garcia D’Avila, a very interesting historical site,” she says, who has already read about this place in the Brazilian history books of the writer Laurentino Gomez. In addition to the daytime visit, the family enjoyed the nightclub, which is currently organized at the same address at night. “There were a few typical food stalls and special lighting. We didn’t stay long, but we liked it.” Besides the attraction, she saw other benefits of being in Brazil. “There were no queues at any tourist place and we were all vaccinated, which made it safer.”
7.4 million shipments (2021), 3.3 million (2020) e 6.5 million (2019)
The most visited destination in Brazil is precisely the northeast, mainly Praia do Forte and Salvador. After more than a year of being cooped up at home watching the Covid death toll rise on TV, the Brazilian needed to relax. “We combine this need for travel with planning for more complex trips,” says Roberto Neldelciu, president of Baztoa Turismo (Brazilian Association of Tour Operators). “I organized a group for the Pantanal, which is now fashionable because of the soap opera Globo, and hired Marina Klink, the wife of the navigator, as a guide. Jobs are sold out,” he says, who also runs a travel agency. “I’m not sure if it was because of the pandemic, but the bands wanted unique moments, like meditating to the sound of violins falling from the sky in Jalapao,” he says. Josiane Cailla dos Santos, 42, from Parana, was in one of these groups. “My guide was a family constellation teacher (an alternative modality of therapy aimed at identifying the causes of personal problems and conflicts through group dynamics).” Josiane says she didn’t even want to go to Jalapao, a state park in Tocantins. He traveled because of the experience on offer and because he felt the need to leave home and routine. She did not expect that the identification with this place would be so strong that she flared up several times when visiting local waterfalls. Josiane returned home, where she lived in Curitiba, sold everything she had and moved to Jalapan.
14.2% there was an increase in shipments in 2021
O tourism is among the sectors of the economy most affected by the pandemic. In 2020, in the worst phase of the disease, only 3.3 million Brazilians experienced the problem of traveling domestically or abroad. In the first year of the pandemic, many agencies closed. According to the Department of Labor, 397,000 jobs were eliminated at the time, equivalent to 12.8% of the workforce. At the beginning of 2021, tourism was operating at 42% of capacity, but as the months passed, the situation changed. As vaccination spread, Brazilians became more confident, and the number of deliveries jumped to 7.4 million.
“We just couldn’t beat 2019 in revenue,” says Neldelciu. “Many clients had letters of credit for travel that had not been taken in the previous year.” Another issue affecting the numbers is the average ticket for domestic flights, which is lower than for international flights. Operator revenue reached BRL 7.1 billion, up 77.3% from 2020 and 44% lower than in 2019, when the market reached BRL 15.1 billion. Physiotherapist Talita Bortolusi traveled abroad at least once a year. “I didn’t leave Brazil for three years,” he says. She is not the only one. Brazilians’ spending outside the country was $5.249 billion, the lowest in 16 years. The sector’s redemption lies in national tourism.