• Brazil prepares for major tourism boost

    Christ the Redeemer - Statue in Rio de JaneiroSipping a very cold beer on Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana beach, it is immediately obvious that Brazil has huge potential as a tourist destination. As the city’s young and beautiful strut their stuff under the azure sky, the sea in front of you, and mountains towering behind you, Rio is a picturesque spot. Add weather seemingly sent direct from heaven by Christ the Redeemer himself, who in statue form towers above the city, and Rio should be packed full of gringos (foreigners). Instead Brazil in general remains relatively untapped as a holiday destination.

    In 2010, the number of overseas visitors to the country totalled 5.2 million, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.¬†This meant that Brazil did not even feature in the global top 10, and it was dwarfed by world number one France, 76.8 million, and number two, the US, 60 million. There are numerous reasons why Brazil remains off the main holiday map, but perhaps the biggest two are the fact it is rather a long way from Europe and the US, and a perception of high crime levels. Flavio Dino, the president of Embratur, the Brazilian Tourist Board, told the BBC Business website that running a successful 2014 World Cup, and 2016 summer Olympics in Rio, will help to more than double the number of people visiting the country by 2020.¬† (more…)

  • Brazil’s president meets Prince Felipe of Spain

    Brazil's president meets Prince Felipe of SpainBrazil’s first-ever female president, Dilma Rousseff. who was voted in this weekend, has sent a message to Spain assuring the country of the importance of its investment in the Latin American nation.

    She spoke with Prince Felipe about commercial relations between the two countries in a meeting in the Brazil’s capital, Brasilia.

    During this, the first meeting with a foreign leader for Rousseff in her short history as Brazilian president, the heir to the Spanish throne handed her a letter from his father, King Juan Carlos, inviting her to visit Spain.

    They agreed that the presence of Spanish companies in Brazil was ‘positive for both countries’ and should be increased, taking advantage of the business opportunities presented by the World Cup football tournament in 2014 and Olympic games in 2016, both in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s largest city and former capital until Brasilia took on this status in 1960.

    They spoke about the possibilities of increasing military and defence cooperation; promoting Spanish language teaching in Brazil; Spain’s role in helping Brazil combat poverty, and job opportunities for Spanish people in Brazil.

    Prince Felipe had the chance to meet with various Spanish expatriates in Brazil before his return to Madrid.