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Brazil records highest tourist arrivals in 4 years

New era, new president. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (C, front) . FILE PHOTO XINHUA

Brasilia, Brazil | Xinhua | Brazil received 868,587 foreign tourists in the first month of 2023, 14.7 percent more than before the COVID-19 pandemic and the highest number in the last four years, the Ministry of Tourism reported Tuesday.

January’s figure exceeded by over 100,000 tourists in comparison with the numbers for the same month in 2019 and 2020, while almost tripling that in 2022, according to data from the Federal Police immigration service.

“The world is returning to Brazil,” President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on his Twitter account Tuesday, highlighting the tourism sector’s recovery during the first month of his third term.

In 2022, the last year of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration, Brazil received about 2.69 million foreign tourists, 55 percent lower than 2019, when 4.85 million arrived.

According to Marcelo Freixo, president of the Brazilian Tourist Board, the data shows how the country’s image abroad directly influences tourism.

“Brazil stopped being a pariah and was once again seen as a welcoming country, an ally of humanity, committed to environmental sustainability, human rights and valuing our diversity,” he said.

Freixo pointed out that the government resumed the use of Brand Brazil in promoting the country to send the message that “sustainability, diversity and democracy are back.”

In 2022, Brazil had one of the worst global tourism performances among countries that had opened their borders after vaccination against COVID-19. ■

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