Brazil received a record 6.6 million foreign tourists in 2016, boosted by visitors attending the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to figures released on Wednesday by the country´s Tourism Ministry.
The figure was 4.8% higher than the number of international tourists that visited Brazil in 2015. Foreign visitors spent $6.2 billion in the country last year, or 6.2% more than the $5.84 billion they left in Brazil in 2015, Wall Street Journal reported.
Brazil still scores low in the ranking of international visitors. The world’s fifth largest country by size and population, it ranked just 43rd globally in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2014, when Brazil hosted the World Cup, according to World Tourism Organization.
That year, the latest for which the World Bank has comprehensive data, Brazil drew 6.4 million foreign tourists, or less than one-tenth of the US’s tally.
Tourists from Argentina topped the list of international arrivals in 2016, with more than 2.1 million visitors, followed by the US, which sent about 600,000 tourists to Brazil between January and December, according to the tourism ministry.
The country was also popular among visitors from Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, France, Germany, Italy, England, Portugal and Spain, the ministry said.