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Strong real, weak dollar Posted by on Jul 23, 2008 in Travel

This week, the dollar reached its lowest value against the real since 1999, at 1.580 reais to the dollar. As a result, Brazilians are flocking to other countries to spend money, where they get more bang for their buck.

In particular, Brazilians are traveling to New York City, where they are the fastest growing group of tourists out of any other nationality in the world.

According to the NYC Tourism Bureau, 251,000 Brazilians traveled to New York last year, a 66% increase from 2006. Aside from the cheaper travel costs, Brazilians are doing a lot of shopping, especially going after electronics, clothes, and cosmetics.

Also, according to the Banco Central (Central Bank) of Brazil, Brazilian tourists are spending much more money abroad than before. From January to May of 2008 alone, Brazilians spent US$4.48 billion abroad, a 60% increase from the same period in 2007.

Economists point to the cheap dollar as well as rising salaries for the spending increase, which have made flights and hotel stays much more affordable.

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