Rural tourism is an ever growing industry in Brazil. This kind of activity has been well known in the USA and Europe since the 1950s. It was only in the 80s, however, that it became a business activity in Brazil.
Rural tourism began when properties in Santa Catarina and in Rio Grande do Sul decided to diversify their activities to combat their financial difficulties by receiving tourists. This segment has since experienced gradual growth in Brazil, encouraged by the cultural regional diversity.
In the state of Amazonas, you can experience rural tourism in the jungle. In the state of Goiás, attractions include the waterfalls, lakes and geysers. In Minas Gerais, the local cheese, cachaça (rum) and friendly chats with locals are the attractions. In Mato Grosso do Sul you can ride a horse over the largest floodable area on the planet, while Espírito Santo is the cradle of agro-tourism. In the south, the tourist can experience the traditions and customs brought by European settlers.
According to a survey conducted by Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Company) in 2007, about 20% of foreigners who visit the country are interested in nature, ecotourism and adventure. Rural tourists will find activities such as fishing, adventure sports, hiking, visiting ranches and cultural houses, and recreational activities in the rural environment.
The Ministry of Tourism is planning to use rural tourism to rescue and promote the cultural and natural heritage of the community. This segment also brings benefits to the local population with the improvement of their lives conditions, new job opportunities, and the reduction of rural-urban migration.
SOURCE: BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT