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Brazil Waives Visa Requirement for the U.S. and Other Nations

Posted on the 19 April 2019 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw
Brazil Waives Visa Requirement for the U.S. and Other Nations

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's first visit with President Trump coincided with his move to waive visa requirements for American citizens visiting Brazil. The waiver was also granted to Canadian, Australian and Japanese citizens. Starting on June 17, 2019, citizens from these countries will be allowed a 90-day, visa-free entry to Brazil with the option of extending their stay to 180 days.

A similar process was implemented during the 2016 Summer Olympics. Tourists wishing to visit between June 1 and September 18 were allowed to enter without visas with an allowance of a 90-day stay in the country to help stimulate participation in the games and tourism.

Studies by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) report that facilitating visa requirements can increase tourism by 25 percent. Brazil has already experienced how these measures can affect tourism numbers. Aside from the 2016 test, in 2018 the country introduced an e-visa program that allowed citizens from several countries to apply for their visas online. The process made it much easier and quicker to acquire a visa, resulting in a reported 35 percent increase in visa applications. This was ten percent higher than the numbers estimated by the WTO.

Brazil has high hopes that the visa waiver will increase those numbers even more. The goal of the program is to bring 12 million annual visitors to Brazil by 2022. That is nearly double the last reported numbers for 2018.

In tandem with the new visa waiver, Brazil's tourism board will implement campaigns in the U.S. to advertise Brazilian culture, highlighting the new visa waiver policy and educating Americans on planning a trip to Brazil. The target demographics of the tourism board are couples, families and business travelers who they hope to attract to their sandy beaches, national parks and urban centers.

According to Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, Minister of Tourism, "This is one of the most important achievements of the Brazilian tourism industry in the last 15 years and we are confident that it will be extremely beneficial to the country. This decision of the Brazilian government proves that we are living in a new moment and that tourism is being seen as a vector of economic and social growth of the entire nation. This is the first step; we still have much to celebrate."

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