He continued, explaining that Brazil must protect its natural beauty since it is the nation’s "greatest asset," and integral to ecotourism, a primary driver of the nation’s economy:Visitors should come and see with their own eyes what is happening in the Amazon. They should not take everything they see on the news or social media as actual facts. There were a lot of fake news spread by many people when the fires first began. There were even celebrities sharing old pictures and pictures that weren’t even in the Amazon to fool people into believing that the whole rainforest was burning down.
Here’s the reality: Brazil is an environmental powerhouse which seeks to develop the Amazon as the best way to preserve its natural wealth and to improve living conditions for more than 20 million people living in that territory. The Brazilian Forest Code is one of the most advanced and strict in the world and determines, among other things, that private properties preserve 80% of native vegetation in the Amazon, 35% in the Cerrado biome and 20% in other biomes.
The Bolsonaro government is working hard to combat illegal deforestation and other criminal activities that put the Amazon at risk. Among the actions is the authorization of the use of the Armed Forces to combat fires in the Amazon. The troops act in preventive and repressive actions against environmental crimes and fighting fire outbreaks.
We are a zero-tolerance government with crime, and in the environmental area it will be no different. It is necessary to remember that when the fires were at their peak, Brazil was in a traditionally dry, hot and windy season, which unfortunately burns every year in the Amazon region. In rainier years, the fires are less intense. In warmer years, such as this one, they occur more often.”
“There is no one more interested in preserving the environment than we are. This is our greatest asset, there is no more important attraction than our rich biomes (Amazon, Caatinga, Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Pampas and Pantanal), our unique flora and fauna. Ecotourism is one of the most fundamental pillars of Brazilian tourism. And there is no way to develop ecotourism without protecting the environment.
Our government wants to preserve and protect, we are committed to this very fundamental heritage for our country. According to the Ministry of Environment, today, the country has 60% of its territory covered by vegetation. We have 334 conservation units (federal, state and municipal). Among the almost 9 million km² in Brazil, agribusiness and livestock occupy 30% of the territory, with another 30% legally protected (between protected areas and indigenous territories).”
This is the perfect moment for a greater exchange of experiences between Brazil and Orlando. We hope to see an increase of flights between Orlando and key Brazilian cities, not only to transport more visitors, but also to make it easier for investors from Orlando to do business in Brazil.The removal of the equipment-import tax is part of a more extensive Brazilian regulation overhaul that is designed to attract more visitors and more investment to the nation. Another major aspect of the overhaul was the recent removal of tourist visa requirements for U.S. citizens.
We hope to attract those in Orlando with the expertise to build and run theme parks. Recently, the main obstacle to the development of theme and water parks in Brazil has been removed. The Brazilian government has passed a law to permanently exempt companies from equipment import tax.”
Our tourism sector meets all the conditions to contribute to the economic growth of Brazil through the generation of jobs and income and soon we will have good results to present. Easing access should lead to more visitors, including returning visitors who now will want to discover new areas, and thus the creation of more jobs and income.It's not just theme and water park development that Neto is looking at as part of his plan. The cruise industry, primarily based in Florida, is also an integral part of how Brazil plans to expand the tourism sector.
We are the world's number one natural resource destination in the world, we have a coastline of about 8,000 km, warm water and sunshine all year round, and 9,000 km of freshwater shores. We need to unite and mobilize, to turn all this into employment and income, so as to increase our cruise tourism sector. Our goal is to propose new management and business models in the area, combining conservation and sustainable development. We hope U.S. based cruise lines can help us identify bottlenecks and set up strategies to overcome the challenges and improve the cruise services and structures used in Brazil.Neto is correct that the nation’s biggest tourism draw remains its ecological and cultural wonders, but conflicting reports on the government’s efforts to preserve its rainforests make it hard to tell fact from fiction in Brazil's talking points.
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