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Tourism Planning & Development

For a Special Issue on

Tourism policy and planning in Brazil: the quest for development, sustainability, and other alternatives

Abstract deadline
01 May 2024

Manuscript deadline
01 September 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Dr. Mozart Fazito, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
[email protected]

Dr. Alissandra Nazareth De Carvalho, Universidad Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil
[email protected]

Dr. Emmanuel Akwasi Adu‐Ampong, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands & University of Johannesburg, South Africa
[email protected]

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Tourism policy and planning in Brazil: the quest for development, sustainability, and other alternatives

Brazil is a country of great diversity being the largest country in South America and the fifth populous nation in the world with a current population of some 217.6 million people. Having about 60% of the Amazon Forest and River basin – the world’s largest river system and world’s most-extensive virgin rainforest – within its borders makes Brazil a hotspot of global environmental biodiversity. This puts the country regularly in the international media spotlight. Yet, there remains great unevenness and disparities across and within the country’s regions in terms of economic, environmental and socio-cultural development indicators. From the late 1990s and early to mid-2000s, Brazil was “heralded as a global role model of sustainable development, combating poverty, reducing hunger, and delivering economic growth while slowing tropical deforestation” (Bastos and Costa, 2022: 508). However, following the 2019 oil spill on Brazil’s Northeast cost, the 2019-2022 rule and administration of former President Jair Bolsonaro and increasing deforestation of the Amazon, the international (tourism) image of Brazil took a down turn. With the coming back into power of the current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the start of 2023, there are hopes and expectations that the image and development of Brazil will be positively enhanced, particularly when it comes to the international tourism image of the country.

Since the 1990s, successive governments in Brazil have made varying levels of governance, planning and policy efforts in prioritising the tourism sector. Tourism has come to be seen as a key economic activity and driver for development across Brazil, particularly in rural communities. It is argued by the national and regional public administrators that tourism has the ability to generate and distribute wealth and income. If so, it could contribute to solving one of the most important – and probably an underpinning – illness of Brazilian development: the regional and income inequalities. Brazil occupies the 17th position in the GINI Index level among 163 countries and, according to the OXFAM, the 6 richest people have the same wealth as the poorest 50% of the Brazilian population (about 105 million people). However, the idea of promoting income and wealth is not a straightforward socioeconomic development action (Sen, 1999) that can be unproblematically driven by tourism. Thus, while tourism-related businesses can certainly drive economic development, it can also drive environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, as well as other negative socio-cultural impacts. This is why government planning and policies for both the economy and the tourism sector are important as they provide a safeguard to guide the development process.

Ongoing issues of inequalities, mobility and security among others have made it difficult to live in Brazilian cities and therefore have become major challenges to positive tourist experiences. Responses to the failure of State policies have involved an exacerbation of neoliberal measures and a more strict ‘penal state’ (Simon, 2007), influenced by Global North policy experiences (Blaustein, 2016). After problematic responses to the outbreak of COVID-19, institutional discontinuities in environmental and indigenous communities’ protection, and a political crisis, Brazil seems to be trying to improve its image to the whole world. The intention is to retake its geopolitical importance in global diplomacy, environment policy, indigenous policy, industrial development, innovation (creativity) and particularly in tourism. However, it must be considered that the development of tourist destinations marked as creative needs to prioritise sustainability in the economic, cultural, social, ethical and political dimensions. Tourism development needs to consider issues of governance, as primordial denominators, not only for the promotion of the locus, but, above all, for the optimization and responsive expansion of the sector. In order to combat social, economic, environmental and cultural crises, recurrent on the world stage, destinations have adopted potential resources development strategies, based on culture and creativity. Therefore, the challenge is not only to attract more tourists and expenditures, but to establish tourism as an asset of both quality of life and soft power, improving the ability of Brazil to contribute to the world’s development and biodiversity as well as to its own population.

In Brazil, the national tourism policy and planning has expanded to include the state sector, the private sector, local communities and civil society organisations with major planning and policy decisions having been decentralised to the regional level of governance (Brasil, 2008). There are however challenges to the inter-governmental level tourism policy making process in terms of who makes the policy, who implements and who has to deal with the consequences of policy implementation. It is therefore important to consider how tourism policies and plans are being shaped through such interactions. The growing influence of the tourism sector across Brazilian society has resulted in a number of planning and policy shifts that require closer examination, particularly given the changing political context at both national and international levels.

This Special Issue on “Tourism policy and planning in Brazil: the quest for development, sustainability, and other alternatives”, therefore aims to open up a reassessment of the process of tourism development policy and planning in Brazil over the years. In particular we want to consider how the increasing focus on sustainability might shape future tourism planning and policy making. The World Bank data shows that from 1996 to 2019, the tourist arrival in Brazil increased from 2 to around 6 million while the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2021, by the World Economic Forum, places Brazil in the 49th position among 117 destinations. This report shows inconsistencies concerning tourism planning and development in Brazil, which represent some research gaps to be addressed in this Special Issue. On the one hand, the country has a strong position in the ‘Travel & Tourism Demand Drivers’ category (9th) – natural resources (3rd), cultural resources (10th) and non-leisure resources (15th). On the other hand, it presents very low positions in some categories like ‘Enabling Business Environment’ (86th), ‘Safety and Security’ (109th), ‘Health and Hygiene’ (76th), ‘Travel & Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions’ (91st), Human Resources and Labour Market’ (84th) and ‘Infrastructure’ (60th). Thus, it is pertinent to review the historical trajectories of tourism planning and policies that underline the international image of Brazil.

We are therefore looking for papers that seek to interrogate the role of tourism policies, plans and practices in achieving sustainable development in Brazil. In this context, we are looking for theoretical, conceptual and empirical research papers that explore one or more of the economic, social, cultural, political, organisational or environmental dimensions of the subject. In particular, we are interested in papers that interrogate the characteristics, past and present successes and challenges as well as the future implications of incorporating sustainability into tourism policy, planning and development in Brazil.

In keeping with the aims and scope of Tourism Planning and Development, we welcome contributions from all disciplinary perspectives especially those of an inter‐disciplinary nature. We encourage papers on all forms of tourism, both mass and niche market and that covers all parts of Brazil. Research on tourism policy, planning and development that are related to (but not limited to) the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • Sustainable tourism development and climate change
  • Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Indigenous tourism development and sustainability
  • Tourism, pro poor tourism and poverty reduction
  • Tourism and local economic development
  • Heritage tourism in Brazil
  • Sustainable and cultural heritage
  • Slavery and colonial heritage tourism
  • Theoretical perspectives on tourism policy and planning
  • National park policies and plans
  • Community‐based tourism and sustainable development
  • Ecotourism policies and plans
  • Tourism and environmental conservation
  • Tourism and indigenous communities in the Amazon
  • Indigenous tourism and environmental justice
  • Tourism, indigenous communities and traditional knowledge
  • Tourism policy instruments for sustainability
  • Stakeholder involvement in tourism planning and development
  • Collaborative planning and tourism’s role in indigenous sovereignty
  • Promoting domestic tourism
  • Indigenous methodologies and practices in tourism development
  • Overtourism and under-tourism
  • Policy and FDI
  • Tourism policy, risks and crime
  • Tourism policy and ecosystems
  • The politics of tourism and power relations
  • Tourism Planning and slum tourism
  • Tourism policy and deforestation
  • Tourism policy and Airbnb
  • Human resource development and management in the tourism sector
  • Tourism governance
  • Creative Tourism and Public Politics
  • Crisis and disaster recovery policy and planning for tourism
  • Destination image and branding
  • Influence of fear and violence on tourism planning
  • Security and tourism development
  • Role of private sector in tourism planning and development
  • The role of NGOs in tourism policy, planning and development
  • Role of national and local level politics on tourism policy, planning and development
  • Public‐private partnerships for sustainable tourism development
  • Scalar and intersectoral policy and planning issues beyond local and regional interpretations of SDGs
  • Degrowth and regenerative tourism policies and practices
  • Tourism and ‘buen vivir’ (good living)

Submission Instructions

Expressions of Interest:

Please submit an expression of interest (EOI) consisting of an abstract (max. 500 words) and a short author bio (max. 150 words) to [email protected] with a copy to Mozart Fazito ([email protected]); Alissandra Nazareth De Carvalho ([email protected]); Emmanuel Akwasi Adu‐Ampong ([email protected]). Your EOI should outline the following: a) Title of proposed paper, b) Contributing authors affiliations and contact details, and c) Summary of the proposed manuscript that outlines the purpose, contribution/ significance, and relevance to the special issue.

Authors should ensure their EOI submissions reflect the aim and scope of the journal. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors in the first instance with those that appear to make substantial contributions and that fit the standards and scope of this special issue will be invited for full submission.


Key Dates:

Expressions of Interest: May 1, 2024

Decision on Expression of interest: May 10, 2024

Deadline for Full Manuscript Submission: September 1, 2024

Reviews/Feedback on Manuscript Provided: November, 2024

Final Manuscript Due: February, 2025

Papers will be progressively made available online as soon as they have undergone the peer‐review and have been accepted for publication. The anticipated publication date of the full special issue is mid-2025.


Full Manuscript Submissions:

Manuscripts can be theoretical or empirical in nature. Manuscripts will undergo a double-blind review. Submissions to Tourism Planning and Development are made using Scholar One Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at Papers must be formatted in accordance with Tourism Planning and Development style guidelines::

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article