ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Since the lifting of international travel restrictions, one of Central Florida’s most significant communities is already starting to see a strong comeback, the Brazilian community.
Vice President of Go Pegasus Claudia Menezes said the office of transportation and theme parks booking service in Orlando was going crazy when the travel restrictions were lifted.
“Orlando is a favorite for all Brazilians. Reservations are up 300 percent. It’s kind of like a rebirth. It’s again happy, busy, loud; we miss that noise that Brazilians make,” Menezes said.
Since 1994, Go Pegasus has catered to Brazilian tourists--many of them visiting Orlando in large groups.
Brazilian tourists are among the top three groups that frequently visit Orlando. Local business owners along International drive and city leaders say they are a driving force for central Florida’s economy.
“We depend on the Brazilian travel for our small businesses so we are eagerly anticipating this return because we know the economic impact that the Brazilian travel has on not just the Central Florida area but our whole state,” Commissioner Bakari Burns said. “Couple that with Universal, that’s in District 6, it makes for a great economic impact.”
Since Nov. 8, when international tourists came back to Central Florida--Perfumeland, a local perfume, and accessories store on International Drive has seen an uptick in sales.
“We’ve seen an immediate impact from the Brazilian market as well as other international markets,” Alejandro Pezzini said. “We’ve seen an increase of almost 50 percent in the last two weeks. We’re expecting the second quarter and on from 2022 to be very very significant probably back to 2019 levels.”
Marilane Gregory, a tourist from Brazil said she’s excited to be in Orlando for the first time.
“Today I started shopping early in the morning before 10 a.m. we were in front of the stores,” Gregory said. “We just arrived last night and I’m amazed by the city, I’m very excited because it has been two years since we have traveled abroad.”
According to American Airlines, there’s been a 74% increase in bookings to Brazil following the White House announcement--with about 40 departures in just two weeks.