This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data
Last Published: 10/10/2018

With a population of 210 million people, Brazil is the ninth global economy and the eighth international source of tourists to the United States. According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, Brazil is the top arrivals market to the U.S. from South America and accounts for more than 30% of all arrivals in the United States from North America. Brazil also has the third largest domestic air travel market for 2016 (the latest year with available data), behind the U.S. and China only.

Currently, there are eight Brazilian airlines and 34 foreign airlines operating in Brazil. Due to the weak Brazilian economy and a major devaluation of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar, 2016 statistics show that 1.7 million Brazilians visited the United States, representing a decrease of 24% in comparison with 2015 numbers. Brazilians spent US$ 11.4b in the United States in 2016, an 18% decrease from previous year.

While leisure dominates the tourism segment of the Brazilian market, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), Luxury, and Bleisure (Business + Leisure travel) are growing sub-sectors. Traditional destinations such as Florida and New York rank among the favorite places for Brazilians, but MICE destinations such as Las Vegas and California attract thousands of tourists from Brazil. Opportunity also exists for less explored destinations like Georgia, Boston, New Orleans, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

In terms of forecasts, we expect a rise in travel and tourism numbers into Brazil, in large part, due to the U.S.-Brazil Open Skies Agreement which formally entered into force in Q2 of 2018. Major airlines into the U.S. and hubs include: American Airlines (Dallas, Miami, New York); Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, Detroit); and United Airlines (Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Houston).

Brazil - Travel - Visitor Spending
Top 20 Tourist Generating Countries (2016) 
RankCountry of Residence# Arrivals% Change 
3United Kingdom4,573,708-6.7 
5China, PRC2,972,26414.7 
7South Korea1,973,93611.8 
 Total Top 2065,272,564-2.9 
International Visitor Spending (2016)
RankCountry of ResidenceExpenditure (b)
1China $                            244.7
2Mexico $                              20.3
3Canada $                              19.1
4Japan $                              16.6
5United Kingdom $                              16.1
6India $                              13.4
7Brazil $                              11.4
8Australia $                                 8.7
9South Korea $                                 8.6
10Germany $                                 8.1
 TOTAL $                            244.7
Brazil - Tourism - Visitors
International Visitors to the U.S. (2016)
RankCountry of Residence#visitors (m)
3United Kingdom4.6
7South Korea2.0
U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel & Tourism Industry – OTTI:  
National Travel and Tourism Office, 2015 Market Profile: Brazil:
International Trade Administration’s 2015 Top Market Report for the Travel and Tourism Market

Principal Business Associations
Limitations on Selling U.S. Services
The following issues represent challenges for U.S. companies in the travel and tourism industry:
  • Frequent fluctuating U.S. dollar exchange rate, cause by uncertain politics and economic issues
  • Withholding tax of 6% on any remittance for touristic purposes, including hotels, parks, rentals, cruises, etc.
  • Lack of airline routes with direct flights to main U.S. destinations- this issue may be greatly reduced due to the Open Skies agreement signed in 2018.

 Distribution & Sales Channels
Although Brazil has deep internet penetration, travel agencies are still the most traditional channel of distribution. Online travel agencies (OTAs) are becoming more and more popular, especially among younger consumers. There are approximately 19,000 travel agencies in Brazil with ABAV as the main industry association comprised of approximately 3,000 associates throughout Brazil. Brazilian airlines GOL, AZUL, and LATAM also offer direct flights to U.S. destinations. Other airlines operating in Brazil (Copa Airlines, Avianca) have been successful in offering non-direct flight options from Brazil to the United States.

According to E-Consulting which specializes in e-commerce statistics, the online tourism market in Brazil is expected to reach US$ 5.2b (R$ 19.6b) in 2018, a 14% increase when compared to 2016 figures. Online bookings reached 31% of total travel in 2015, and continues to grow. In 2017, more than 35% of travelers made bookings via OTAs, and by 2020, it is expected that nearly half of all bookings will be made online.

It is common for Brazilians to purchase high-cost items via installments, which has led the local travel industry to offer promotional packages with a great variety of payment options. Airline tickets are very expensive in Brazil, when compared to U.S. options to fly to Brazil. The Open Skies agreement is expected to grow competition and drop costs.

Jussara Haddad
Commercial Specialist
Travel and Tourism Sector

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

Brazil Travel and Tourism Trade Development and Promotion