Those traveling at the turn of the year saw scenes that until 2019 were common, but have become rare since the beginning of the pandemic: crowded roads, crowds in airports and crowded hotels. Thanks to the advance of vaccination — which reduced deaths by Covid-19 — the summer has once again become synonymous with tourism in the country. The heat season marks the peak of demand in the sector, which suffered losses of R$ 453 billion in the accumulated since April 2020 to October 2021, according to the National Confederation of Commerce of Goods, Services and Tourism.
Although health authorities remain alert about the omicron variant, the fact that 67% of the population has a complete vaccination schedule and that there has been a sharp drop in lethality rates of the virus in Brazil, 2022 has everything to be the year for the resumption of national tourism. At the pace of recent months, 61% of the agencies associated with Abav expect to increase sales by at least 50% this year. A survey by the Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies (Abav) states that domestic tourism has practically resumed, while searches for international destinations have reached 50% of pre-pandemic levels.
If the summer continues without new isolation measures being necessary, the Ministry of Tourism’s forecast is that 480 thousand jobs will be generated, with a turnover of R$ 171 billion. The expectation is that Brazilians return to visit sands and seas that for a long time only accessed through photographs and videos. And, in this rediscovery of an idyllic Brazil, the northeastern coast maintains its favoritism, although the demand for a place in the sun remains high in different regions.
Among the destinations that emerge as a trend for 2022, the coast of Alagoas stands out as one of the most sought after places by tourists, which caused the expansion of the structure of tourist services throughout the state. Fernando de Noronha is another hit in the Northeast which, with demand on the rise, debuted at the end of December direct flights from the capital of São Paulo (the largest tourist export hub), with daily departures operated by Azul.
In the southern region, the emerald coast in Santa Catarina, a 60 km strip of natural reserves, has been attracting more and more travelers from neighboring states. With the record number of tourists that the Santa Catarina coast region received this year, Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort, a hotel complex on a private beach, inaugurated a new gastronomic space and revamped the Arvoredo bungalows, where accommodation can exceed R$ 4,500 per night.
Without borders Even those who face the US$ 5.70 dollar in international lands share an interest: high temperatures in tropical settings. The Maldives islands lead the preference in luxury tourism for Brazilians, according to Abav, with the advantage of offering distance from agglomerations. There, many resorts manage to control the pandemic scenario with the protocols already adopted, such as the presentation of a negative PCR test and proof of vaccination. The Minor Hotels chain, which operates the Naladhu Private Island resort in Maldives, has Brazil among its five largest markets and depends on the perennial flow of this public. “Brazilians want privacy and nature in resort destinations,” said Antoine Chahwan, president of Four Seasons hotels on the US East Coast, Caribbean and Latin America. The operation will make four openings this year, including the Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
The reason for the bets of the Four Seasons network is the strong demand of tourists with high purchasing power. While sales in this market shrank 36% in Brazil in 2020, a survey by the International Luxury Travel Market points out that, in the same period, the A class started to spend more on their trips.
In South America, the José Ignacio village, 40 km from Punta del Este, in Uruguay, has become one of the main luxury destinations for the summer below the tropics. Since the reopening of the Uruguayan borders, in November, the Vik Retreats properties, owned by the Norwegian billionaire couple Alex and Carrie Vik, have once again received Brazilian tourists, one of the largest audiences in the region. The Vik resorts combine resort ecotourism and well-being standing on the sand, a typical resort setting, at daily rates from 400 euros. It’s a segment that lives off traveling without crowds, busy roads or tight budgets. In summary, whether at local or international points, Brazil will travel again.
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