When we think of Brazil, we think of soccer, over the top Carnival celebrations, samba dance, Bossa Nova music, and unfortunately, lots of crime. The 21st century, however, has brought many changes to this giant of Latin American countries. These days, Brazilians are preparing for two huge international sporting events…The 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The motto for the Olympics is “live your passion.”
Besides passion and the global sports stage, Brazilians have a lot to cheer about. As many Western developed countries still wallow in the mud of recession, Brazil’s economy is dynamic. Record soybean harvests show agricultural clout, a sugarcane/ethanol boom demonstrates forward thinking environmental strategies and a new female president highlight that Brazil is on the move. Strides are being made against poverty and crime, and Brazil’s role in the world order is shifting.
Brazil is a member of BRIC. In economic terms BRIC is an acronym, a term coined in 2001 that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are all seemingly at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development. In fact, these days the U.S. is considering changes to our visa system to woo tourists and facilitate the process for visitors from these countries. Disposable income for many is a new thing and certainly travel is on their mind.
For visitors to Brazil, there is so much to see in this, the largest country in South America. From the high tech worlds of Brasilia and Sao Paolo to Rio’s cultural Mecca and the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is a fascinating travel stew. The more relaxed city of Salvador in the northeast was my favorite area, but I wouldn’t miss a visit to Iguaçu Falls on the Argentina border. The beaches and the beach culture never fail to impress and amuse. It is the people who bring the country to life. I would travel back to Brazil in a heartbeat.
Brazil tourism is even cashing in on the new film RIO, the animated story about tropical birds. Interest in family trips to Rio de Janeiro are up according to Travel Weekly and this keeps Brazil in the cultural conversation and segues nicely to the upcoming big global sporting events.