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 November 16, 2009
Various Brazilian Symbols Highlighted With New Research Findings

 Research released today from EMBRATUR, the Brazilian Tourism Board, reveals international opinions on Brazilian attractions noting the people are the main appeal. Forty-five percent of travelers declared Brazilian people as the most notable part of visiting followed by the country's natural wonders (23 percent) according to tourists from 27 countries who visited Brazil in June 2009.

Commissioned by a third party, Zaytec Brasil, EMBRATUR's research highlighted 2016 Olympic Games host city Rio de Janeiro as the most memorable city in the world's fifth-largest country. Foreign travelers mentioned Rio most frequently (45 percent), followed by São Paulo (16 percent), Salvador (five percent), Florianopolis and Fortaleza (three percent each) when interviewed for the profile of foreign tourists and Brazil perceptions study.

"The research shows, in spite of the significant challenges we still face, more than 90 percent of foreign tourists enjoy visiting Brazil and recommend it as a destination to friends and family, " said Luiz Barretto, Minister of Tourism. "And, the Brazilian people are our biggest attraction."

President Lula, Pelé and Ronaldo, in that order, were the celebrities most frequently associated with Brazil and for the first time, soccer great Pelé ranked second. And, when asked about national Brazilian symbols, foreigners offered surprising replies including the Brazilian flag (24 percent), Christ the Redeemer (17 percent), soccer (seven percent), and Corcovado/Sugarloaf Mountain (six percent).

Positive inclinations about the country's economic situation are on the rise as well with 57 percent of respondents describing the Brazilian economy as growing, dynamic, strong and stable. Only 10 percent reported negative views of the economy.

"Two factors strike me as important and worth noting. The first is the confirmation of the Brazilians people's nature - our culture and lifestyle - that fascinates and captivates people who come to visit," says Jeanine Pires, president of Embratur. "Second is the perception that Brazil is an emerging country with new standing, economic and otherwise, in the world. This is essential information for the messages and strategies we are creating to promote Brazil abroad in the coming years given the heightened exposure with the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016."

This study was conducted to profile foreign visitors and ultimately, in concert with findings from other national and international studies, aid in the development of future promotion of Brazil as a destination abroad.

Other Key Findings From The Research Included:

- Food: Various dishes came up but those mentioned most included feijoada (20 percent), churrasco (16 percent) and feijão com arroz (9 percent), all cultural mainstays within Brazilian cuisine.
- Natural Wonders: Brazil's beaches were mentioned consistently with 28 percent of respondents calling them Brazil's top natural wonders. Other responses were forests (18 percent), Rio de Janeiro (16 percent) and Foz do Iguaçu (seven percent).
- Music/Dance: The Brazilian Samba was mentioned by 46 percent of respondents, other popular and cultural music mentioned was forró (nine percent) and bossa nova (seven percent).
- Sports: Consistent with years past, soccer dominates foreign visitors' sports affiliation with Brazil as 85 percent of respondents mentioned the sport.
- No more stereotypes: Tourists interviewed did not hold stereotypes about Brazilian people as 25 percent noted the joy and happiness of the people, 18 percent discussed the people's friendly ways, and another 18 percent highlighted the people's congeniality.
- Areas for Improvement: In regards to concerns, 22 percent of participants identified violence and crime as areas for improvement followed by 18 percent noting poverty and 15 percent flagged police presence. Meanwhile, ten percent reported there was nothing they disliked.

Comments: Respondents were allowed to provide more than one answer to this question.


This research profiled 2,405 respondents of foreign tourists who visited Brazil for at least three days for leisure, events, business or otherwise. They were who were 18 to 75 years old and hailed from one of the following countries: Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Mexico, United States, Canada, Portugal, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Japan, China, South Korea and India. The research was compiled in August 2009.