Following the implementation of a new electronic visa
program last fall, Brazil has reported record visitor spending for the month of
Brazil said international visitors spent $779 million in the
country during January, only $14 million less than what international visitors
spent during the month of the World Cup soccer tournament in 2014.
Brazil's electronic visa program made it cheaper and easier
for citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S. to travel to Brazil. They
apply online with an estimated approval time of 72 hours. They are no longer
required to visit a Brazilian consulate or visa center. And for Americans, the
visa price dropped from $160 to $40.
Last month, Brazilian officials estimated that its new program
would boost tourism from the U.S. by at least 25% and possibly as much as 50%.
In the last 30 days, nearly 15,000 visa applications were
requested by U.S. citizens, an 87% increase from a year earlier.