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Fewer Brazilians tourists visited Miami in 2017 and Airbnb gain strength

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In Miami Brazilian tourists are top spot had long, but they have lowered 26 percent less visitors in 2016 and another 5 percent in 2017, year over year. But those challenges were balanced by a 2 percent increase in visitors from Colombia, an 8.2 percent increase in travel from Argentina and a 12.5 percent bump in German travelers to Miami.

Among those harmed by the economic crisis and the soaring dollar price in Brazil, discount malls – which have attracted tourists to Miami in recent years – are now the most affected.

The frenzy days in the Miami outlets – even in the gigantic Sawgrass Mills, with its five “avenues” that add up to 350 stores – seem to have lagged behind.

Brazilians continue to go to the region, despite having a drop in visitors in 2017 – the main in more than 20 years. In the outlets, however, the retraction was much higher, especially in stores that always profited by being preferred by Brazilians.

A growing number of travelers, though, stayed at short-term rentals. About 5 percent of all visitors rented a residence or a room in a home, up from 3.7 percent in 2016. Platforms like Airbnb were once considered “disruptors” by the bureau, which works hand-in-hand with area hotels. But with Airbnb and HomeAway’s new tax deals with South Florida governments, the bureau is working to better track their performance and impact on the local tourism economy, as it does with hotels.

In all, Miami tourists spent a record-breaking $26 billion in the region in 2017, an increase of 2.1 percent compared to 2016. Their favorite spots: the beaches, South Beach, Lincoln Road, Bayside Marketplace and Downtown Miami.

The bureau plans to use AirDNA, an independent website that scrapes Airbnb’s listings, to track the performance of short-term rentals in the areas of Miami-Dade County where they operate legally. According to bureau analysis, Airbnb is not negatively impacting hotel performance, said Rolando Aedo, the GMCVB’s chief operating officer, though the industry continues to grow.