Gary Diskin - May 4, 2015
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Ecotourism is one of the sectors recording a major increase in foreign currency revenue in Brazil, almost quadrupling the 2006 figure, which put the number of tourists at 1.9 million.

Last year a total of 7.3 million tourists decided to visit state protected areas in Brazil (national parks, forests, biological reserves and other nature conservation areas), about 14% more than the previous year, according to figures provided by Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).

Among the protected areas, national parks are the most valuable tourism gems and they received 6.6 million tourists, 10.8% more than in 2013.Tijuca National Park leads the rankings of most visited places, with 3.1 million visitors, followed by the Iguaçu National Park (1.5 million) and the Jericoacoara National Park (400,000).

Brazil’s ecotourism figures confirm the results of the latest study released by the World Economic Forum, which views Brazil as the country with the greatest potential in this type of tourism globally.

Ecotourism also encourages sustainable tourism, thus helping to conserve the biodiversity of these territories. In fact, a recent UN resolution also identified sustainable tourism as a tool for the protection of the economy, stimulating local development of the communities that form part of these natural areas.

In order to promote this local development, the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism is working on several programmmes for the professional training of the communities around the conservation areas. The Government recognizes the need to work together with the local people so that the country can offer the warmest possible welcome to all tourists.

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