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Brazilians' 'Fanatical' Travel to U.S. Helps Drive Brazil's Economic Boom

August 11, 2011

One of the most impressive results of Brazil's economic rise has been the explosion of the middle class, and the expansion of what is called the C Class. Beyond the stock market, the oil fields, and the upcoming international events, the new middle class is what really has helped fuel growth and has attracted so much investment and international business...

...One of the most notable consumption trends in the new middle class is travel –now more than ever, Brazilians are going abroad and are spending billions. As the US Ambassador Thomas Shannon noted at the Council of the Americas conference in São Paulo this week, "Brazilians travel with almost fanatical zeal to the US." In the first six months of 2011, Brazilians spent $10.2 billion abroad, an all-time record and a 44 percent increase from the same period the year before. This June alone, Brazilians spent $1.8 billion on international travel. Many travelers are coming to the US, much to the delight of embattled retailers. Miami is a popular shopping destination, and in 2010, 550,000 Brazilians visited the Florida city, spending $1.1 billion there. Some even come with actual shopping tours. Wealthy Brazilians are buying up Miami real estate; as one broker told The New York Times, “The Brazilians walk in, they don’t even negotiate... It’s a no-brainer for them."

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