Brazil: TAP flights to boost Minas Gerais’ tourist figures by 20 pct

13 February 2008

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 13 Feb – The flight run by Portuguese airline Tap between Lisbon and Belo Horizonte is expected to boost the number of tourists travelling to the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais by 20 percent, sector businesspeople said Tuesday.

The start of the direct flight on Monday has created expectations amongst tourism sector business, particularly in the historical cities of Minas Gerais.

“Our expectations are the best possible as the Portuguese will get the chance to go to the historical cities of Minas Gerais, which are essentially Portuguese,” businessman Carlos Teixeira Niquini told Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Niquini, who owns Solar do Rosário, a manor house hotel in Ouro Preto, 90 kilometers from Belo Horizonte, is currently finishing a refurbishment project on the hotel.

Minas Gerais has the third largest regional economy in Brazil after the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and exports around US$100 million in goods to Portugal each year.

With the launch of this new route Tap now has 65 weekly flights between Portugal and Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Natal, Recife, Salvador, Fortaleza and Belo Horizonte. (macauhub)