"There is a love affair between Brazilians and Miami that has helped their economies ," said Rolando Aedo , senior vice president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Miami.
In 2013 the Brazilian dethroned as the leading Canadian and international tourists exceeded the purchase of property . Last year 690,000 Brazilians visited Miami , up 8.8 % compared to 2012 and spent an estimated $ 1,500 million, according to preliminary figures.
" For us it was very important , tourism has lifted the economy in general and in the center of the Brazilian tourism are in real estate, trade and business are opening ," says Aedo .
A year after the crisis began , the unemployment rate in Miami- Dade County hovered nearly 12 % , the construction sector began to collapse and increased the number of properties passed into the hands of banks.
In addition to geographical proximity between Miami and the main Brazilian cities , separated by about eight hours of flight on average, the high quantity of flights between Brazil and Florida contributes to the " heavy flow of tourism that is observed now," says the Consul General of Brazil in Miami, Hélio Vitor Ramos Filho.
Currently there are 123 weekly flights between Brazil and Florida, and " the Consulate General has information suggesting that this offer will be extended " by the end of the year.
Sustained economic growth in Brazil is also a factor , since today most Brazilians can travel abroad than 10 or 20 years ago. The foreign currency exchange , finally, always influences travel decisions of the nationals of any country, and the same is true for Brazil , illustrates the diplomat.
Aedo describes as " incredible " the impact of the Brazilian economy in South Florida and forecast to have an explosive growth in tourism if the U.S. government approves Brazil visa - waiver program . In this match the Brazilian consul.
"If Brazil was included in the visa - waiver program would probably have a blast of Brazilian tourism to the United States. Requiring visa remains a barrier for many potential travelers of Brazil to the United States because, in Brazil , the application process visa may represent additional travel costs and domestic accommodation, increasing significantly the cost of visit, " he explains.
Log in to the program is a decision of the U.S. authorities, so the Brazilian diplomat believes it is not possible to know if the Brazilians will benefit from it this year. But the issue is the subject of ongoing dialogue between the foreign ministries of both countries , " new developments can occur throughout the coming years."
A positive aspect that stands out is that the U.S. diplomat has reduced the waiting time for a visa in Brazil , " which has resulted in an increase in the number of Brazilian tourists " .
Aedo explained that in 2013 several systems were implemented to handle more tourist visas and other categories and mentioned that the increased number of staff at the consulates to process visas , thus the waiting time down from 100 days at the beginning of this year to five days.
The purchasing power of Brazilians has benefited the other pillar of the Miami economy : real estate. In 2012 outperformed the Canadian and international buyers in South Florida.
Liza Mendez, president-elect of the Realtors Association of Miami and the company owns Pedro Realty International, says that Brazilians accounted for 60 % of international buyers in Miami last year.
Hélio Vitor Ramos Filho said that in recent years there has been an increase in purchases of property by the Brazilians, " a phenomenon that can be attributed in part to the financial crisis of 2009 and the consequent cheapening of properties in the state. few Brazilian cities have also suffered with the overvaluation of real estate " , which increases the appeal of Miami for their low prices .
According to available figures, 61 % of these " new neighbors " bought condos (in 2012 it was 53% ) . 42% acquired the property for holidays, and 67 % prefer the Miami -Fort Lauderdale.
" The impact has been very positive because it has helped boost the real estate sector . Still coming , Brazilians are strong and that creates a chain of impacts in restaurants and shopping centers ," he says .