Brazil: Government of Minas Gerais working to attract Portuguese tourists

13 January 2009

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 13 Jan – The State Tourism Secretary (Setur) of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Érica Drumond, said in Belo Horizonte that her organisation was working with a view to attracting a substantial number of the Portuguese tourists looking to visit Brazil.

Portugal is one of the main sources of tourists to Brazil, occupying the first places on the list drawn up east year by the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur). In 2007 280,438 Portuguese tourists visited Brazil, which made the country the third biggest source of tourists.

Speaking to Portugal Digital, Drumond said that initiative had recently seen an important boost, when a new international air link was opened up by Portuguese airline TAP, which has a direct link from Portugal to Minas Gerais.

“After the start of this new air link, the State Secretariat for Tourism carried out several promotional activities, with a focus on attracting tourists and encouraging people to use the TAP flight. One of those activities was taking part, in partnership with Embratur, in important segment fairs and events, at which Minas Gerais tourism was promoted and where the state’s tourism products were promoted to Portuguese destination, such as Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Algarve and Funchal,” said the secretary.

According to Drumond, the air link from Portugal to Minas Gerais is also important in relation to the rest of Europe, functioning as a gateway for European tourists into the state, as the flight also brings tourists from Milan, Madrid, Paris, London and other areas.

The historical and cultural relations between Minas Gerais and Portugal are represented along the length of the Estrada Real (Royal Road), which was opened up by the colonising power in order to send riches extracted from Minas Gerais to the Portuguese Crown, in the 17th century. The legacy from this period is especially apparent in the historic mining towns, which are a recognised tourist attraction in the state. (macauhub)