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Who visits São Paulo

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São Paulo is the State in Brazil which receives, by far, the highest number of foreign visitors.
The official Tourism Authority in Brazil publishes periodically official statistics about the foreign travellers; the most recent numbers refer to 2005 and 2006, and can be read here (PDF file).

A few figures:
In 2005, Brazil was visited by a total of 5.538.170 foreign travelers; São Paulo was the most visited, with 2.429.017 visitors; Rio de Janeiro came next, with 866.379 visitors.
In 2006, the total number of visitors to Brazil dropped to 5.018.991; São Paulo also saw a small drop, but remained the most visited with 2.429.017 visitors; Rio de Janeiro was visited by 794.219 foreigners.

The table below shows the number of visitors from a few countries to Brazil and São Paulo:

CountryBrazil São Paulo
Year2005200620052006
United States 793.559 721.633 547.448 495.148
Canada 75.100 62.603 46.535 41.384
Argentina 992.299 921.061 249.644 222.479
Japan 68.066 74.638 49.163 54.882
Germany 308.598 277.182 180.469 170.722
Spain 172.979 211.741 101.987 97.836
France 263.829 275.913 166.789 148.795
England 169.514 169.627 98.693 89.818
Italy 303.878 291.898 167.119 148.265
Portugal 375.640 312.521 134.574 129.916
Others 1.834.708 1.700.174 704.847 691.519
TOTAL 5.358.170 5.018.991 2.447.268 2.290.764


A few factors could explain the drop in the number of visitors between 2005 and 2006: the World Cup in Germany, which attracted people who could otherwise visit Brazil; the weakening of the dollar and the euro against the Real (read here), which makes Brazilian prices higher; the crisis faced by the Brazilian aeronautics business.
For 2007, the number of visitors should grow. In the first trimester of 2007, the money spent by international visitors increased by 9.6% compared to same period in 2006 (see here).
The Brazilian Economy is forecasted to grow by nearly 5% over the next few years, which is a considerable improvement over the recent past; São Paulo, the most important State of Brazil, shall see an increase in the number of people coming for business purposes.

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