Tourism

Brazil is an emerging gay tourism hotspot, but the government doesn’t want to know

Actions to promote gay tourism in the country have been actively ignored since Jair Bolsonaro came to power, despite Brazil having some of the world's best LGBTQ+-friendly spots

gay tourism Farme de Amoedo Street, in Ipanema. Photo: Lazyllama/Shutterstock
Farme de Amoedo Street, in Ipanema. Photo: Lazyllama/Shutterstock

In the 1970s and 1980s, advertising campaigns from Brazil’s Embratur tourism board often used images of women in bikinis lounging on the beach to attract foreigners to visit the country. Such sexually charged advertisements have long been discontinued, but the tourism sector has found it difficult to shake off the stereotypical image of suntanned women in skimpy bathing suits, beach football, samba music, and caipirinhas in its efforts to promote the country abroad.

The strategy since then has been to advertise Brazil’s natural beauty to boost tourism — the idea being to attract more value-added, as well as avoiding...

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