ARMANDO AVENA – BAHIA. TOURISM AND AIRPORTS

ARMANDO AVENA – BAHIA. TOURISM AND AIRPORTS
ARMANDO AVENA – BAHIA. TOURISM AND AIRPORTS
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Passenger movement at airports is an indicator of tourism potential and economic dynamism. Bahia is a player in this area and you only need to see the number of tourists arriving for Carnival to be sure of this. And on the airport map, Bahia has a competitive advantage: it is home to two of the largest airports in the Northeast. The first is Salvador airport, the 2nd largest in the region, with a movement of 6.8 million domestic passengers (embarking and disembarking) in 2023, a growth of 9% compared to 2022, a better performance than that of Salvador airport. Recife, with 8.5 million passengers, an increase of 3%. But if the comparison is between states, passenger movement in Bahia is the largest in the Northeast, due to regional airports, such as Porto Seguro, Ilhéus, Vitória da Conquista and others. The 2nd largest airport in Bahia and the 6th largest in the Northeast is Porto Seguro airport, which registered a movement of 2 million passengers in 2023, almost equal to the Maceió terminal. Porto Seguro airport has the 3rd busiest route in Bahia towards Guarulhos, with around 350 thousand passengers in 2023. The leading routes are those from Salvador to Congonhas and Guarulhos. Unfortunately, Porto Seguro airport has precarious conditions and is unable to meet pent-up demand. When it succeeds, it will become the fourth largest airport in the Northeast.

The State government is aware and has already announced the construction of the new Costa do Descobrimento international airport, in Santa Cruz Cabrália, through a Public-Private Partnership whose winner will maintain the operation of the current terminal, while building a new one. The Secretary of Infrastructure presented the 1st version of the project and, urged by the TCE, is currently making adjustments to present the project on the São Paulo Stock Exchange in the 2nd semester. It will be a great deal for investors and a big step towards making Bahia the third largest tourist hub in Brazil, enhancing what Porto Seguro already is: the most beloved spot in Brazil for São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Argentineans.

On the other hand, Salvador airport has been showing good results since Vinci Airports took over the concession. In 2023, it registered a movement of 290 thousand international passengers (embarking and disembarking), an increase of 67% compared to 2022. Recife airport leads with a movement of 303 thousand passengers and an increase of 80%. But this happens because TAP has been prioritizing Recife, making it its distribution hub between the northeastern capitals, with a greater number of takeoffs and more modern planes. However, the other international routes connecting Salvador to Madrid and Buenos Aires attract twice as many passengers as all other routes leaving Recife. Therefore, if a strong promotional action is carried out, Salvador will soon surpass Recife, especially because before the pandemic it received 100 thousand Argentines, three times more than this year. All data is from ANAC.

Domestically, Salvador is also making progress, but joint work is needed between Salvador City Hall and the State government to promote the Bahia destination and attract more routes and destinations. Added to the effort in search of greater movement is the action of the Salvador Convention Center, which has been doing an excellent job of attracting events and the expansion of regional routes, which has been carried out by the State government. This is the scenario, but 2024 will not be easy for aviation, with sky-high ticket prices and Gol’s judicial recovery.

MOVEMENT IN THE PORT OF SALVADOR

The Port of Salvador recorded, through the Tecon Salvador terminal, a growth of almost 8% in container movement in 2023, reaching 401 thousand TEUs (container units), the highest volume operated since the terminal’s inauguration 23 years ago. Exports and imports lead the movement, but cabotage operations (between Brazilian ports) are already around 20%. The terminal is a regional leader in long-haul navigation, with calls at ports in more than one country. What’s more: Tecon/Salvador is responsible for 41% of foreign trade containers in the Northeast. China and the United States lead the export of cargo and internally Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: ARMANDO AVENA BAHIA TOURISM AIRPORTS

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