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As the head of NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism board, Fertitta has witnessed the meteoric rise of Brazilian visitors to the Big Apple. Last year, Brazil became the second most important overseas market for the city after the UK: 826,000 Brazilians came to visit, compared with 112,000 in 2006.

“We have never seen anything like it,” said Fertitta. “We have had big surges in visitors from Ireland but the surge from Brazil is unique in scale.”

For all the talk about Brazil losing economic might, Brazilians continue to flock to NYC in ever greater numbers. And their numbers are helping to offset the decline in tourists from more obviously stricken countries such as Italy and Spain. They are also outspending the Europeans during their stay. With an average spent of $2,262 per trip, Brazil is right up there with Australia and the UK as the biggest total spending tourist groups in New York.

Tags: brazil, nyc
Photo Credit: The Brazilian Day parade in New York CIty in 2010. Bobby Plasencia / Flickr