In previous blogs we talked about the fact that there is immense love between Brazilians and Florida. It’s all in the numbers: according to the Foreign Ministry, about 300,000 Brazilians live in Florida! As Brazil is the country of the sun and Florida is the sunny state of the United States (the Sunshine state), it is not surprising that Florida is a popular destination for Brazilian immigration. The proximity of the south of the state to Brazil and the already established Latin culture are some of the attractions for Brazilian investors and for those seeking a better and more peaceful quality of life.
However, it is not just Florida that offers something good for Brazilians. It is also important to understand how Brazilians are impacting the South Florida economy. When these 300,000 Brazilians decided to settle in the region (60% in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties) they helped to rebuild South Florida’s economy through real estate, business development, tourism and exports.
In terms of tourism, we are the third largest international visitor in this state, corresponding to 10% of the total tourists in Florida, and the second most spent on shopping, tours, hotels, restaurants, etc. Brazilians reign in Miami, Orlando and theme parks.
A study commissioned by Visit Florida found that tourism is in fact the number one industry in the state. Visitors, 84% of them for leisure, spent US $ 108.8 billion in 2015, with an average of US $ 300 million per day. Of the approximately 85 million visitors who disembarked in 2016 (more than 14 times than the whole of Brazil receives from tourists), 24% of them were international. Of these, 4 million Canadians, followed by 1.7 million English and 1.5 million Brazilians. Together with the other countries, they left around US $ 25.7 billion in local coffers!
Domestic tourists spend an average of 4 days in the state. Certainly, to compensate for the cost of transportation and accommodation, foreigners spend an average of 11 days. In this way, foreign visitors bring direct revenues to the hotel (28%), food (20%), commercial (14%) entertainment (14%), land transport (12%) and aviation (10%) sectors. Not counting indirect revenues, if we consider the financial impact on other sectors such as banking, education, agriculture, fishing, fuel, health, wholesale, construction, services, manufacturing, communication, among others.
The survey commissioned by Visit Florida concludes that for every 76 visitors, a new job is created: 1.4 million people are working directly or indirectly with tourism, generating a revenue of 50.7 billion dollars. Tax-only, tourism in Florida contributes approximately $ 44.4 billion. This means that each resident of Florida, if it were not for this amount of taxes generated by tourism, would have to pay the government $ 1,500 to maintain the same level of services that the government provides to citizens.
Thus, the relationship between Brazilians and the state of Florida is a two-way street: the two need each other to be happy. The economic crisis that has rocked Brazil in recent years has also been reflected in the Florida economy in terms of jobs and trade. This is because Brazil is consistently classified as the state’s first trading partner. In 2014, Florida sold everything from engines and aircraft parts to medical and surgical equipment to Brazil, totaling US $ 15.9 billion. In South Florida, in Brazil’s economic heyday, the country’s elite gathered in luxury condominiums in and around Miami. The value of all economic transactions that year was more than $ 20 billion.
Florida, of course, felt the Brazilian crisis in its own pocket. With a high dollar and political uncertainties, the Brazilian middle class withdrew from the American market. Brazil came to be in fifth place among foreigners looking for real estate in South Florida, after leading this list from the end of 2014 until the end of last year.
However, despite all this political and economic crisis that has been established in the country, Brazilians are returning to Florida not only to invest in real estate and thus create a source of income in dollars, but also with the objective of establishing themselves in the country as an immigrant.
Brazilians who invest at least US $ 500,000 are eligible for an EB-5 visa, giving them conditional permanent residency for two years.
As a result, Brazilians are looking to invest in everything from gas stations to luxury condominiums. Commercial real estate and hotels in the U.S. have also become attractive options as assets offer a steady stream of revenue Brazilians need Florida, just as Florida needs Brazilians looking for diversification in their business, security and an interesting profitability in dollars. We at Florida Connexion are at your disposal to guide you on this path and to overcome any obstacles.