Brazil to Build over a Dozen Cruise Ports
With the objective of expanding the port infrastructure for tourists in Brazil, Minister of Tourism, Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, announced that the BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development) is studying to make available a credit line for the construction of 15 ports in Brazil.
Sea cruises handled 28.5 million tourists worldwide in 2018. In 10 years, demand for voyages aboard a ship increased by 60%. However, despite a population of almost 210 million, Brazil accounts for only 0.25% of the number of cruisers in the world.
The data, released by CLIA Brazil (Brazilian Association of Cruise Ships), show that, over the years, the cruise industry continues to grow worldwide, driven mainly by the increase in number and diversification of itineraries.
By 2019, the industry will gain 24 new ships and a total additional capacity of 42,466 people, and by 2020 another 25 new ships are already planned, with a total additional capacity of 43,080 people, according to Cruise Industry News data.
In Brazil, the 2019/2020 season will receive eight ships, one more than last season, bringing 531,121 beds that will be divided by 144 itineraries and 575 calls. The 2018/2019 sea cruising season was responsible for an economic impact of R $ 2.083 billion in the country’s economy, generating 31,992 jobs in the Brazilian economy. In all, 462,000 cruise ships embarked.
Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio stressed the relevance of cruise activity to Brazilian tourism and the country’s economy. “When I arrived at the Ministry, I wondered how such a beautiful, wonderful coastline could have only seven ships operating. And Marco (Ferraz, president of CLIA Brazil), better than anyone, explained to us that sea cruises are still crawling in our country, mainly due to the lack of port infrastructure,” he said.
To promote improvements in the sector, the minister met with BNDES President Gustavo Montezano to discuss the creation of a credit line worth about R $ 5 billion to finance the construction of at least 15 ports on the Brazilian coast.
According to CLIA Brazil President Marco Ferraz, the cruise ship sector has returned to growth in the country, after declining in recent years. Ferraz also stressed the importance of the CLIA Forum to bring together authorities, various ministries, regulatory agencies, and the tourism trade.
The president of CLIA Brazil also stressed the participation of the federal government in measures to promote and reduce bureaucracy in the sector. “The world is growing very fast compared to cruises and we want to keep up with that. The Ministry of Tourism is fundamental for the necessary actions to be taken,” added Ferraz.
CLIA Global President Kelly Craighead said Brazil has an incredible opportunity to become a reference as a cruise ship destination, but some hurdles need to be overcome. “We really need to take care of how business is done regarding regulations, fees – which are obvious things – but also infrastructure. We need to work in partnership with the government to make Brazil stand as a world cruise destination,” Kelly said.
The president of the Joint Parliamentary Front for Tourism Defense (Frentur), Federal Representative Herculano Passos (PSD-SP), praised Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio’s stance in opening the doors to debate, along with the National Congress and the tourist trade, the strengthening legal certainty for foreign investment to come.