State Government of Rio Grande do Sul
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Tourism Structure

Rio Grande do Sul occupies the 3rd position in the ranking of arrivals of international tourists in Brazil

Tourism¹ is an important activity for revenue entry. Approximately 1.2 billion tourists traveled the world in 2016. The revenue  from tourism, in 2016 in Brazil, was about US$ 6 billion, as per the Ministry of Tourism (MTUR). According to MTUR, Brazil received approximately 6.5 million international tourists in 2016. Rio Grande do Sul received 1.1 million international tourists in 2016, representing 17% of the country's total, ranking third among the other federation units.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the months that presented the largest influx of international tourists in 2016 were January, February, March and December, according to MTUR. The main countries of origin are Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile, which together represented, in 2016, 96.2% of the international tourists who entered the State. The main means of access was by land (87.5%), followed by waterway (7%), air (5.3%) and maritime (0.2%).

Due to its historical formation, diversity of landscapes and cultures, and its strategic location in relation to MERCOSUR countries, Rio Grande do Sul receives a large number of tourists, especially from South America. Its attractions include mountainous landscape and climate, pampa, extensive coastline and hydromineral resorts, besides paleobotanical, archaeological, historical, architectural and cultural heritage. Also the gastronomy, customs costumes and traditions define a diversity of events that form an extensive calendar of events that are developed throughout the year. The tourism structureof Rio Grande do Sul is organized according to 27 Tourist Regions defined by the Secretariat of Culture, Tourism, Sports and Leisure – (SEDACTEL), and whose characteristics reflect the diversity of attractions.

In terms of accommodation, the State had a total of 1,601 establishments in 2017: hotels (64.6%), inns (32.7%), hostels (1.4%), flats (1.2 %) and resorts (0.1%). Out of this universe, 80.9% were small, 16.9% medium-sized and 2.2% large, what  demonstrates the relevant participation of small enterprises in income generated from tourism activities in the State. As for the number of beds, RS had 130,104 units in 2017.

As far as the spatial distribution is concerned, 55.7% of the lodging facilities are located in the tourist regions of Hortênsias, Litoral Norte, Costa Doce, Uva e Vinho and Porto Alegre, according to information from SEDACTEL. The tourism structure of RS also offers Tourist Assistance Centers, located in numerous municipalities. These places are specialized in assistance and guidance to tourists and provide information on lodging, food, tourist attractions, among other information.

¹ According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and MTUR,tourism may be defined as the set of activities carried out during travels and stays for a period of less than one year, for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of a paid activity in the place visited.

Admission of international tourists in Brazil by RS according to country of origin in 2016
Admission of international tourists in Brazil by RS according to country of origin in 2016

Source: MTUR. Anuário Estatístico do Turismo 2017

Monthly admission of international tourists in Brazil by Rio Grande do Sul in 2016 (persons)
Monthly admission of international tourists in Brazil by Rio Grande do Sul in 2016 (persons)


Source: MTUR. Anuário Estatístico do Turismo 2017

Admission of international tourists in Rio Grande do Sul by means of access in 2016 (%)
Admission of international tourists in Rio Grande do Sul by means of access in 2016 (%)


Source: MTUR. Anuário Estatístico do Turismo 2017

Admission of international tourists in Rio Grande do Sul by means of access in 2017 (%)
Admission of international tourists in Rio Grande do Sul by means of access in 2017 (%)

Source: SEDACTEL RS. Guia dos Meios de Hospedagem do Rio Grande do Sul 2017

Socioeconomic Atlas of Rio Grande do Sul