Despite risks, Brazil’s colonial cities reopen for tourism

For many of historic cities, tourism is the number 1 source of revenue. But a rushed reopening might have devastating long-term effects

tourism colonial cities
Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Photo: Luis War/Shutterstock

With their traditional colonial architecture and cobblestone streets, cities dotted along the so-called Royal Road — which once connected the gold mines in the state of Minas Gerais to the coast of Rio de Janeiro — are a Brazilian tourism hotpot. Since the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, these locations have turned into something resembling ghost towns. One video posted by local business owners, using drone footage, toured the streets of the colonial town of Tiradentes, showing the tourist hotspot in a deserted state, with empty squares that are usually filled with visitors from around Brazil and the world....

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