THE BLOG

Event Tourists Spend 312% More in Brazil Than Visitors for Leisure

15/10/2014 14:41 BST | Updated 14/12/2014 10:59 GMT

The great exposure that Brazil gained during the large events held over the last three years (Rio +20, Confederations Cup, World Youth Day and the FIFA World Cup) have helped to consolidate the image of a country prepared to host international events. Within the area of tourism, Brazil has been among the ten main events destinations worldwide since 2006, behind only the United States of America in the American continent. In 2013, some 315 events were held in Brazil, according to the ranking issued by the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), which does not count sporting and religious events.

Highly educated opinion-formers within their countries of origin, this group also helps to bring foreign currency into Brazil. Events tourists spend 312% more than those who visit the country for leisure purposes, on average spending U$304 per day, according to a study carried out by the FGV (Getúlio Vargas Foundation) for Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Institute). This figure is four times greater than the expenditure of international visitors who visit the country for leisure trips, who have an average daily spend of U$73.77, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism. On average, events tourists stay in the country for seven nights.

With support from Embratur, which has formed partnerships with both the Brazilian States and the private sector, the number of international events held in Brazil registered an increase of 408% between 2003 and 2013, helping to bring resources to the Brazilian economy. On the other hand, this good result demanded greater investment and professional qualifications for those who work in the sector from all of us (the government and private sector). Our expectation is that this increase will continue in the coming years.

Up to 2020, for example, 50 more events have already been captured with the support of Embratur, of which 20 are on a worldwide scale, 28 are international and 2 are Latin American. Such is the case with the ROTARY International Annual Convention, to be held in June 2015 in São Paulo, with the participation of 40,000 people, or of the 8th World Water Forum, which is scheduled for October 2018 in Brasília (DF), with the participation of 35,000 people. In addition, the Congress of the International Union of Architects - UIA, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro in November 2020, with an estimated participation of 7,000 people.

In the study carried out by the FGV in the first half of this year, entitled "Pesquisa de Impacto Econômico dos Eventos Internacionais Realizados no Brasil" (Survey on the Economic Impact of International Events Held in Brazil), 74% of interviewees rated the image of the country positively and 92% praised the receptiveness of the Brazilian people. 64% of those interviewed stated that the choice of Brazil as the location of the event positively influenced their decision to take part. 87.7% were visiting the event city for the first time and 91.7% intend to return to Brazil. As 38% stated that they intend to return to the country within a maximum of two years, we understand their experiences to have been good. The survey was carried out during 16 international events held across the five regions of the country, between the months of March and August of this year, and included 1,659 participants.

The study shows that the cities most visited by foreign Business and Events tourists are: Rio de Janeiro (33,2%), São Paulo (16,7%), Foz do Iguaçu (6%), Manaus (6%), Belém (4,5%) and Salvador (4,4%). Of those interviewed, 67.6% were in Brazil for the first time and 60% of those that had already visited the country had come for Business and Events. The cities most visited on previous trips were Rio de Janeiro (27%), São Paulo (22,1%), Florianópolis (4,9%), Salvador (4,6%) and Foz do Iguaçu (3,6%). When asked about the event host city, 74% of those interviewed said that their impression was positive. Among those that planned to stay in the city after the event, the average stay was 3 days. Regarding the welcome by local people and staff, 92% evaluated it as good or average.

Organisation of the trip was also a subject of the study and showed that for 64.6% of interviewees the fact that the event had been held in Brazil had positively influenced their decision to take part. The majority of interviewees (52%) had organised their trip themselves. In all, 45% of participants looked to the event organisers in Brazil for information on services and tourism products, while 20% searched on the internet. 97.3% of the participants have a degree and 39% have an average monthly salary above U$4,000. In other words, this is an opinion-forming group, with high purchasing power and the ability to take good information on Brazil back to their country and that has the means to return to Brazil to get to know other tourist destinations.

The good results obtained in recent years, confirmed by the survey carried out by the FGV, show the importance that the sector has for tourism and how it should be prioritised in promotional tourism policies for Brazil within the international market. Currently, the infrastructure available for holding events in Brazil offers 9,445 spaces for fairs, congresses and events of various types, with a total area of 10.2 million square metres and 9.2 million seats, according to a survey carried out by the events industry.