With airplane bathrooms getting smaller, the US travel industry losing jobs and money hand over fist, and free checked luggage (even internationally) going the way of the dodo, we all need some good travel news. This week Brazil provided a pinch, by making it easier to visit the land of wild jungles, stunning beaches, and sprawling cities.
As of yesterday, Americans will be able to apply for and receive a Brazilian visa online, cutting out expensive trips or postage to Brazilian consulates around the USA. To add a very sweet cherry on top of this sundae, the Brazilians have also lowered the tourist visa fee for Americans from $160 to $40. Trust us, an extra $120 goes a long way in Brazil.
The reason for this move is that Brazil’s tourism industry has slowed, especially when it comes to American tourists. According to the ABC News report, American tourist numbers fell from 675,000 in 2014 to 570,000 in 2016. Keep in mind, Brazil hosted the Olympics in 2016 and still drew fewer Americans than previous years, when Brazil was on everyone’s hot list. ABC notes that continued high crime and the Zika outbreak are the main culprits at play in the dwindling numbers. While those reasons square with reality, Zika is retreating (and a threat in the United States as well).
The head of Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism told the Associated Press that, “Tourism became part of the economic agenda just a year and a half ago” which coincides with the country’s decrease in backpacker popularity. With this new push comes additional investment — expect to see a lot more of Brazil in Instagram feeds, commercials, and Facebook ads.
With this news in mind, we thought we’d put together a visual tour of some of our favorite regions and places in Brazil that 100 percent deserve your attention in 2018.
Brazil is a massive country. It’s basically the size of America without California. So, there’s a ton to see, with variation around every corner. A great place to start with Brazil is Bahia.