Understanding Travel and Tourism
The Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country on the continent where it is located. This land has always attracted explorers in search of wealth. It is associated with a stereotype like the land of dense jungle and wild people. Understanding travel and tourism peculiarities of this region requires a profound research of its origin, multicultural development, diverse society, and background. First, it is important to understand its territorial features on the example of its natural environment. Second, it is necessary to describe a kind of society and the reasons for its multicultural nature. The third step is to explain how and why Brazil became an important tourist destination. Moreover, the Carnival of Rio as an example of a tourist attraction and its influence on the tourism image of the country, in general, are essential as well as the concept of ecotourism attractions. The paper also explains the importance of mega-events and their influence on the country. Finally, the last step is the description of kinds of accommodation and transport available for tourists.
Brazil’s Natural Environment
Brazil occupies a large area in South America and shares a border with almost every South American country, namely, Paraguay, Venezuela, Guyana, Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Suriname, Peru, Argentina, and French Guiana. This green land is washed by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, which washes its full coastline. If to look closer it can be seen that it is adjacent to many bays, reefs, and islands. Brazil’s landscape is characterized with areas which differ with terrain and natural resources. It makes the territory geographically diverse (Ester de Freitas, 2017). Its dense system of rivers counts eight drainage basins. The Amazon river is a major one among them. Its basin is home to diverse wildlife and possesses extensive natural resources. The capital of the country is Bras?lia, located in the center-western region, has modern architecture and planning. The most populated city is Sao Paulo, which is one of the most popular destinations of tourists and represents strong international influences in many areas. Rio de Janeiro is one of the most popular travel destinations and most visited cities in the country owing to its natural beauty. Salvador, the fourth largest city and center of Afro-Brazilian culture, is known for architecture, cuisine, and historical monuments.
Society of Brazil
Brazil has the sixth largest population in the world and in cultural terms, it is one of the richest communities on the planet. There are some factors that explain why Brazil is a blending of different race groups. The first major one is immigration during the whole Brazil’s history (importing African slaves, migration from Europe, Portuguese colonization, etc.). Moreover, the country is a safe destination for refugees of the world who escape from distressed areas. Availability of plenty of natural resources has also made it attractive for migration (Brazil, 2005). These are the main reasons for such ethnic diversity. Due to it, almost all racial groups that are presented in the world live in the country. It consists of several ethnic groups. Tourists can find such large ethnic groups in Brazil as Brancos (White Brazilians), Pardo (combined European, Native, and African ancestry) and Pretos (African-Brazilians).
As to sources of wealth, Brazil is one of the world’s giants of mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, as well as rapidly growing service sector. It is a world’s provider of diamonds and other gems, and the country exports a lot of steel, electronics, and consumer goods, such as coffee, oranges, and cassava being also a producer of sugar, soy, and beef. However, Brazil still has one of the world’s most lopsided distribution of wealth. As to employment in Brazil, job sources report that employment rate in Brazil is constantly increasing (averaged 55.63 percent from 2012 until 2018), reaching an all-time high of 57.30 percent in November of 2013 (Brazil Employment Rate, 2018).
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Brazil as an Important Tourist Destination
Even at the time when the area of modern Brazil has not been discovered yet, these mysterious territories attracted many explorers for possible trade and establishment of colonies. The most famous explorer was Percy Fawcett and his men who went looking for a lost city. From those times an image of a mysterious place has been created around these lands, which shows Brazil as a ‘tropical paradise’ (Bandyopadhyay & Nascimento, 2010). Then, the area was discovered and there were many natural pure places, pleasant subtropical climate, beautiful beaches and bays that lined the coast, fascinating plant and animal wildlife, etc. In addition to this, the country has a unique cuisine, culture, and traditions which include local people’s hospitality. These are the main reasons why travelers from different countries and continents choose this land as their preferred destination. Despite remoteness from usual travel ways, they choose Brazil because only there they can experience its original taste, unforgettable fauna, hiking, and sea adventures in different regions of the country. The image of the country full of mysterious jungle attracts people and Brazil can offer it. Its multicultural ethnic diversity and a mix of exciting attractions (some of which one cannot experience anywhere else, like Amazon River rafting) make this country an important destination for travelers and tourists.
Carnival of Rio and Its Multicultural Origins
Beyond the country’s boundaries, the carnival of Rio is known as a big festival where thousands of people participate, and this event collects millions of people on the streets. It is a parade with numerous entries of various styles. Such an event is only associated with Brazil due to a diversity of represented local samba schools (more than 200) and ethnic groups. In performer teams, one can see people of all races who live in Brazil and it is a distinguishing feature of this festival. Every year the bright carnival attracts millions of people and has a significant impact on tourism of the city. Thus, the city uses the festival period to attract tourists and the service sector offers various options. Guests replenish the city budget by their stay buying tickets and other activities. Over the years the show has transformed the carnival production increasingly including professionals dealing with special effects (during entertainment events, such as mega-events and music shows) (Duran, 2013). It means that the government tends to improve the quality of the show to make this attraction bigger. Such interesting events improve the image of the country as a whole by the positive experience of visitors who fly to their home countries after the carnival, share impressions and recommend Brazil all around the world.
The result of the Rio 92 Earth Summit on Brazil has influenced the establishment of an ecotourism movement in Brazil. Its diverse ecosystems are becoming a popular destination for tourists who are in search of untouched nature. In Brazil, there are 76 national parks, 88 natural biological reserves and 94 areas of environmental protection that make up for a large ecotourism market (Patrick, 2015). Ecotourism activity means preservation, conservation, and education of natural awareness. The first type is marine areas that are under protection in many regions and include northern, eastern and southern shelves, where ecotourism can be established. The second type is UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The list includes various places around Brazil, such as parks, landscapes, islands, and mountains. The third type is biodiversity and fauna that include wetlands, rainforests, and other natural sightseeing. The fourth type is the preservation of indigenous lands and local tribes which means the protection and preservation of this barrier to deforestation of the Amazon from agriculture and mining industries. The last type is national parks. A well-informed tour guide would interpret the Iguazu falls as one of the most interesting ecotourism attractions. At the same time, this is home for many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. The tour guide would emphasize environmental significance of this peculiar place and explain the mains reasons for that.
Mega-events and Their Importance for the Country
Due to the recent history such events always seem as a great opportunity for countries to attract people from all over the world, let them experience a new culture, cuisine, hospitality and many other aspects inherent only to a particular country (Bastos & Mirian, 2015). From this point of view hosting mega-events is essential for Brazil nainly to ruin stereotypes about itself. The hosting allows prestige and global exposure as an important factor for the future promotion of the country. Moreover, this potential includes collaboration between national and international institutions and facilitates a base for further cooperation. The recent 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Brazil improved the country’s image on the world stage. However, such events are a big challenge, especially for developing countries. There are positive and negative aspects of organizing such events due to their socio-economic, cultural, physical and political effects. Positive impacts include attraction of tourists and currency to the city (financial sector), cultural exchange, strengthening local traditions and increasing community spirit. One more is a modernization of urban infrastructure and greening of the hosting city. It is also improving the political image of the country and developing public relations with global commercial organizations involved in the event. Negative impacts include consequences of such events, namely social and economic disparities, significant infrastructural deficits and environmental problems which may have negative impact on sustainable development. Some manuals claim that cities in the developing world are facing enormous social, economic and environmental challenges, which are not comparable with those of Sydney, Vancouver or London (Grunewald, 2002). It means they have smaller budgets and need more resources and investments than other countries.
Kinds of Accommodation for Tourists
The Brazilian tourism industry is experiencing a golden decade with significant growth in the number of international and domestic tourists (Patrick, 2015). This directly gives rise to the development of the service sector, in particular, accommodation service. Currently, the tourist infrastructure is well-developed and good accommodation is available in almost all destinations. Every traveler can find any apartment according to his/her preferences (price, location, etc.) because they are presented in every price category. Accommodation in the popular cities would be much more expensive than in smaller towns in the countryside. The following types of accommodation are the most popular. Hotels are available everywhere, especially in downtowns, and vary in price, facilities, and quality. Pousadas are usually family-run guesthouses which also differ in quality and prices. They are popular among those travelers who want to make their stay more personal with an extra “Brazilian coloring”. Hostels are popular among backpacker travelers and offer dormitories, shared facilities, and common areas when the tourists meet each other, talk and share experience. Resorts are a new phenomenon on the Brazilian service market. However, they are becoming increasingly popular. These are huge complexes with all facilities in one place.
Types of Transport
Brazil is a country which uses many kinds of transport and offers them for tourists. However, according to the World Economic Forum, Brazil ranks 107th out of 144 countries in the level of infrastructure development (Export.gov, 2017). The choice depends on a person’s purpose and availability of a certain kind of transport. The most common methods of transportation existing in most areas of the country are buses (within a city or for longer distances). However, it is not so reliable and breakdowns are possible. The urban transport, such as subway network, is also an option for tourists. It is the easiest way of getting around major cities like Sao Paolo or Rio and safer than buses. If one wants to travel to remote regions of the country, then he or she should use river transport, which is well developed (especially in the Amazon region) on contrary to a limited rail network. Thus one can assess even to isolated points. Moreover, there exist water taxis and ferries that are relatively inexpensive. They offer slow and long boat trips up the Amazon River for all interested tourists. Also, tourists can rent a car or motorcycle and ride on their own. Despite the convenience, there are many obstacles in large metropolitan areas as chaotic hassle, traffic jams, parking, etc.
In conclusion, it can be stated that Brazil has rich nature due to a unique landscape and location. The country has major tourist cities that are known for their architecture, urban planning, and famous sites. Its regions are of different climate, topography and natural resources. Brazil’s society is diverse because of important historical events (migration, colonization) and this has led to an appearance of all racial groups in the country. The main sources of wealth are such branches as mining, agriculture, manufacture, and service sector. The reason for being an important tourist destination is a unique mixture of culture, cuisine, pleasant climate, interesting attractions, and pure nature. Festivals and carnivals contribute to the tourism image of the country by providing a positive experience for travelers who share it with each other all around the globe. Another attraction is ecotourism which includes marine areas, shelves, and heritage sites. Tour guides would interpret such places as sites of preservation and education of natural awareness. Mega-events also contribute to the country’s image. There are both positive and negative effects of them. On the one hand, modernization of infrastructure, attraction of tourists and promotion, and social and economic disparities, deficits and environmental problems on the other hand. The kinds of accommodation available are hotels, pousadas, hostels, and resorts. The type of transport used by tourists include buses, subway, boats, ferries, cars, and taxis.
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