The Real Deal Miami

Look out, Canada – Brazilians take Miami

May 16, 2013 11:00AM

Miami tower’s Brazilian side

Brazilians have overtaken Canadians as the top overseas visitors and property buyers in Miami as the city shrugs off the after-effects of the 2008 real estate crash, América Economía reported.

“There is a love affair between Brazilians and Miami, which has helped the economy in both places,” Rolando Aedo, executive vice-president of the Greater Miami Office of Tourism and Conventions, told the online magazine. Brazilians’ stamp on South Florida’s economy has been “incredible,” Aedo said.

Brazilians outnumbered Canadians as Miami’s main international tourists and buyers last year. Around 690,000 Brazilians visited the Magic City, an 8.8 percent gain from 2011, and spent an estimated $1.5 billion.

Favorable currency exchange rates and Brazil’s economic growth – despite a recent slow-down – have helped a larger demographic of Brazilians visit Miami than could a decade ago, consul general of Brazil in Miami, Helio Vitor Ramos Filho, told the magazine. Exempting Brazil from U.S. visa requirements would flood Miami with even more Portuguese-speaking South Americans, the Brazilian consul said.

“If Brazil were included in the visa-waiver program, there would probably be an explosion of Brazilian tourists in the United States. The visa requirement is still an obstacle for many potential tourists from Brazil, since in Brazil obtaining a visa means additional costs related to having to travel domestically just to get the visa, which can increase the overall cost of a trip substantially,” Ramos Filho said. [América Economía]Emily Schmall