Brazil’s tourism minister to visit China to study opening of Mercosul promotion office

29 June 2007

Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, 29 June – Brazilian Tourism Minister Marta Suplicy visits China in September as part of a project to open an office in Beijing for Mercosul, the southern Latin American trading bloc, media said.

Brasilturis Jornal, a tourism trade journal, reported that Suplicy will also visit Sri Lanka and Japan during her Asia trip later this year.

The minister, who announced her China trip during a meeting of fellow Mercosul tourism ministers, says she is certain it is possible to increase numbers of Chinese and Japanese tourists in Brazil “in a rather speedy manner.”

Foz do Iguaçu is the most popular destination for Japanese tourists in Brazil, noted the minister, adding she would press for direct flights from Japan to the city on the Argentine border, as enlargement of the local airport will be concluded by December.

Brazil’s Institute of Tourism (Embratur) aims to attract 125,000 Chinese visitors by 2010 to surpass the number of Japanese tourists.

Japan is currently the biggest Asian tourism source for Brazil, with an average of 74,000 visitors a year, according to official Brasilia figures. Some 37,000 visitors from China came to Brazil in 2006, compared to 18,000 the previous year. (macauhub)