Brazil, like the USA, is a country in which domestic travel dwarfs international travel. Nevertheless, it generated 5.2 mn outbound trips in 2007, involving spending of US$ 8.2 bn – making it by far the largest market in South America.
Preliminary estimates suggest an increase of 2% outbound trips in 2008, to 5.2 mn, and an increase of 33.5% in spending (in US dollars terms), to US$ 11.0 bn.
Brazil is regarded as a high-risk travel market, susceptible to boom-boost cycles. It went through a bust in 1999-2002 and a rapid recovery in 2003-05, followed by more moderate growth in 2006-08, supported by general prosperity and a very favourable exchange rate.
Europe captures almost one third of Brazilian outbound trips, although the top European destination, France, lags some way behind the overall leaders, Argentina, the USA and Uruguay.
Europe;s market share has tended to slip in recent years, mainly because of the rapid growth in tourism within Latin America.
Airline capacity between South America and Europe has been tight in recent years, especially in the peak seasons. In April 2009 there were 14 airlines operating 198 weekly scheduled flights from Brazil to Europe, with a capacity of 53,717 seats.