Brazil – The New Number One For Central Florida

Filed under: Business,Florida News |


Just recently Visit Orlando, the State of Florida’s marketing agency, released an estimate that Brazil now leads the way for visitors to Central Florida.

In total, almost 770,000 visitors from Brazil visited Central Florida in 2013, topping the 759,000 who came from the United Kingdom, according to the agency.

Tourism from Brazil has exploded over the last decade as the rising middle class affluence has seen a 900 per cent increase in visitation. Visitors to Florida love to visit the theme parks, go to the restaurants and love to shop… no, wait… they LOVE TO SHOP!

International Drive - OrlandoInternational Drive - Orlando

It’s the first time in modern times that the United Kingdom has been usurped as the leading market and the new data shows that approximately 250,000 fewer people come from the UK every year than the peak times a few years ago.

It now seems the Brits have fallen out of love with Florida. Once a place where they were guaranteed some sunshine in return for their pound notes, Brits now see less value for money than they were once accustomed to. Further problems with immigration and customs after enduring a long nine to ten hour expensive flight seems to be the last straw for those who see cheaper destinations in Europe as being more attractive.

Brazilians, on the other hand, seem to have discovered that Orlando and Central Florida is very affordable. Cheaper than visiting Miami or New York, it’s not unusual to see Brazilians shop as if clothes, shoes, perfumes, watches and electronics are going out of fashion. Prices are two to four times lower than prices in their home country so Brazilian visitors flock to the Orlando shopping malls at Florida Mall, Mall of Millennia and International Drive to get some great deals.

Brazilian tourism to the United States has been rising for years, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. Visitation from the country jumped by 15 percent in 2013 to 2 million and it now sends more visitors to the U.S. than Germany, France and China. It once lagged behind them all.

The Brazilian travel boom has been enabled by an expanding middle class and declining poverty rates. The national poverty rate fell from 21 percent in 2003 to 11 percent in 2009, according to the World Bank, although Brazil still has millions living in desperately poor conditions,

To accommodate the influx of Brazilian visitors, the region’s big theme parks and hotels now look for employees who can speak Portuguese. They also have Portuguese web sites and make the effort to print their guides and maps in the native language.

SeaWorld even went a step further by specifically creating an early-entry program for Brazilian groups so that they can hit the park and still have time to shop.

The growing Brazilian visitor trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping either and now that Orlando City Soccer has signed world superstar Kaká, you can expect to see many more Brazilians in and around ‘O’ Town. Of course, it’s entirely possible that many of them will now visit Florida to escape their own national teams semi final result in the recent World Cup!


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