Brazil: Miami's First Billion-Dollar Foreign Visitor Market

Thanks to their country's strong currency, resilient economy and easy access to Florida, Brazilian travelers have become Miami's first billion-dollar international tourism market, local newspaper Miami Today reported this month, citing data from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

According to the CVB, Brazilian visitors to Miami broke a 15-year record with 555,302 travelers in 2010, up 15 percent from 482,871 in 2009. As a group, those travelers spent $1.1 billion.

Although Brazil has outranked all other international markets in spending, it ranks second in number of visitors behind Canada, which sent approximately 30,000 more travelers to Miami last year than Brazil did. By next year, however, Brazil is expected to rank No. 1 in visitor volume, as well.

Brazil is contributing to a tourism boom in South Florida: Total Miami visitor expenditures hit an all-time high in 2010, Miami Today reported, reaching $18.8 billion — up 10 percent from 2009 — $12.4 billion of which was spent by international visitors.