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ECONOMIC IMPACT OF DENGUE IN TOURISM IN BRAZIL

      Objectives

      Dengue is an endemic disease that is rapidly growing worldwide. A recent study estimates that 390 million annual infections occur around the world. In Brazil, tourism revenue is an important part of the GDP, and the Ministry of Health has already recognized the importance of dengue on tourism revenues. The objective of this study was to estimate the economic impact of a dengue outbreak on tourism revenue (international and national tourists) in a dengue outbreak year (≥300 incidence of dengue cases/100,000 inhabitants).

      Methods

      A literature review was performed using published articles, gray literature and non-scientific literature focusing on the impact of dengue in tourism´s national and international arrival. This review was completed by the estimating number of international and national tourists in Brazil, the tourists’ expenditure/day estimates, and the duration of stay. All costs are expressed in US$. Deterministic sensitivity analysis on the most uncertain parameter has been performed.

      Results

      The base year was 2013 considering the outbreak experienced by Brazil that year. Impact of dengue on tourism was considered only during the peak incidence (January - May). In 2013, there were 5,813,342 international tourists and 94,649,146 national tourists. US$ 975 to US$1462 are spent per international tourist and US$ 848 to 2268 are spent per national tourists. Considering a conservative decrease of 4% in tourism in Brazil due to dengue outbreak, we obtained an economic impact of dengue of US$132.3 million from international tourism and US$1.4 billion from local tourism in 2013. This economic impact could reach US$12 billion when the decrease of tourists of 30% from Rio Grande do Norte 2008 is considered.

      Conclusions

      Even assuming a minimal reduction of the number of tourists visiting Brazil during dengue outbreak, tourism revenue losses are significant, impacting the country economy and GDP.