Meeting of Brazilian and Chinese tour operators will lead to deals, tourism ministry says

9 February 2007

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 9 Feb – The director of international relations of the Brazilian Tourism Ministry told Macauhub Thursday that he was certain that the meeting held this week in Sao Paulo between tour operators from Brazil and China would lead to business deals.

The event, “China: the tourist destination for Brazilians” brought together around 130 Brazilian and Chinese tour operators and travel agencies, according to the association organizing the event, the Brazil-China Economic Development Chamber (CBCDE), and one of them was China International Travel Service (CITS), the biggest Chinese tourism company.

“I have no doubt that it was positive for doing business,” said Pedro Wendler, who took part in the event Tuesday. In his opinion, contact with Chinese companies had opened up the way for Brazilian operators to set up in China.

China was the 25th most popular destination for Brazilians and the 32nd source of tourists to Brazil, according to figures from the World Tourism Organization (WTO). 18,700 Brazilian visited China in 2005 and 18,000 Chinese travelled to Brazil in the same year.

“Brazil has the potential to double its number of Chinese tourists,” from an estimated 50,000 to 75,000 last year to 100,000 or more, Wendler said, according to whom the agreement signed between the Tourism ministries of both countries in 2004, which approved Brazil as a destination, made it easier for Chinese tourists to visit Brazil as well as for Brazilians to travel to China.

Wendler said that Brazil could offer interesting destinations to the Chinese, both those related to nature – Amazonia, Pantanal and Iguassu Falls, for example – and unique cultural locations, such as the Northeast region.

Wendler noted, however, that “in an initial stage,” the trend was for growth of business tourism, due to increased trade relations between Brazil and China. “But, as time goes by, the operators are getting to know each other better and leisure tourism should also develop,” he said. (macauhub)