Natal and the Rio Grande do Norte - Enormous Economic and tourist potential
Natal, the Potiguar capital, has already conquered the world. It is the Americas’ entrance spot, the closest one to Europe and Africa, a modern and joyful city, born between its rivers and the sea, adorned by dunes and lots of green trees.
A land of colors and flavors where one can find pleasure and adventure. It is summer here all year long, on a littoral of wonderful beaches, lagoons, semi-arid backland, cuisine, rides, art and culture that was never seen before, all allied to its people’s natural hospitality.
Natal is one of the continent most wanted tourist destinations, the 'Sun City', also remembered as the World’s Buggy’s Capital and 'Shrimp Land', land where Forró was born.
It has around 800 thousand inhabitants and receives more than 2 million tourists per year among Brazilians and foreigners.
The visitors are delighted by the more than 400km of Atlantic Coast, surrounded by beautiful beaches, many of which are visited through radical Buggy rides around the Sea, Dunes and Lagoons, with various attractions along with them.
Also, there are many good places for Diving, and the constant winds make Windsurf and Kitesurf available.
Besides its natural attractions, the city has a high-leveled hotel chain with more than 25 thousand beds.
In March 2005, Natal was considered to be Brazil’s calmest capital, according to a survey done by IPEA - Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas Aplicadas. It also received the title on having America’s purest air (NASA-USA) in 1994.
Economic wealth of the state
The state of Rio Grande do Norte knows a strong economic growth since the 80s, due to the development of the production of petroleum, gaz, sugar cane, shrimp and tropical fruits, but also because of the growth of tourism.
To allow this growth of the economy, big projects of infrastucture were set up since the 80s, creating numerous direct and indirect jobs.
Development in the 80s
Construction of the 'Via Costeira' in Natal, a road between the beachs of Areia Preta and Ponta Negra.
Development of a luxury hotel infrastructure (hotels from 4 to 5 stars).
Development of the road 'Rota do Sol' which serves all the beaches of the Southern side of Natal.
Development of an industrial pole in the region of Mossoró.
Development in the 90s
Development of the tourism around the village of Pipa, introduced by the practice of the surfing.
Development of the tourism in the northern side of Natal started at the beach and the dunes of Genipabu.
Extension of the road BR101 from Natal till Touros, 90 km towards the north.
Pole of the Coast of Dunes, 'Costa das Dunas', which has the objective to improve the quality of the existing infrastructures in the areas of Areia Branca-Porto do Mangue, as well as develop and diversify the tourist demand through the environmental protection on the region.
Development at the beginning of 2000s
Construction of a practically new big airport with the finality of receiveing international flights.
Urbanization of the Ponta Negra district in Natal, allowing the intensification of the construction of hotels and pousadas close to the beach.
Fast growth of the tourist infrastrutures in Pipa and Tibau do sul.
of the tourism in São Miguel do Gostoso, introduced by the practice of the Kite surfing.
Development of the tourism in Maracajau around the activity of dive.
Even if the region knows since 2006 a stabilization of the tourist frequency, these projects of infrastuctures are the mainspring of the setting-up of big groups, the greatest part European, coming to invest in the state, mainly on the north coast of Natal and the region of Tibau-Pipa.
The tourism shall thus continue to develop in the region of Natal, on the north of Natal and Pipa and develop a regular growth for the regions of the countryside.
Current projects and previsions of development
These last years, the Rio Grande do Norte had a strong acceleration of the implementation of big projects of infrastructures and impressive luxury tourist complexs.
Other projects are already in preparation. >> More...
Current productions in the state
The state productions
The rich lands and the rivers and lakes of the state allow the exploitation of natural resources :
The salt, the oil(petroleum) and gas
The production of sugar and ethanol from sugar cane.
The ceramic, and the cotton in the countryside.
The production of tropical fruits (Pineapple, mango, Caju, Caja, Graviola, Orange).
Production of shrimp by the exploitation of numerous fishponds on the coast.
Culture of shrimps ( carcinicultura )
Shrimp are a part of the culture and the history of the state, even in the time of Indians, long time before the colonization. Rivers rich in shrimp always allowed the inhabitants to have a food of subsistence.
Nowadays their abundance is due to the industrial production in fishponds.
The region presents the ideal climatic conditions:
Sun all year long, high and constant temperatures.
Warm quality waters, allowing the setting-up in lagoons and rivers
This economy became in some years the most important of the state in terms of circulation of capital. With the exportation to Brazil and to many places in the world, with a generation of more than 60.000 jobs. The small producers represent an important part (70%).
However, on the other hand, the development of these fishponds is a big concern about the environment, because they pollute the rivers and lakes, and they destroy the mangrove swamps. By hoping that the authorities set up a real control of the respect of the fauna and flora through its organism IDEMA.
The statistics of 2007 presented a decline of the exportation due to the way up of the Asian competition.
Production of tropical fruits ( Fruticultura)
The culture of tropical fruits has passed by the condition of simple manufacture for the regional market until the 70s, to an industrial stage nowadays. The production of the small farmers remains significant.
In the regions of Mossoro and Açu, the production of melons is made especially for exportation. From 1998, other fruits as banana, watermelon, mango and the papaya started to be cultivated. In 2005, the cashew nut 'castanha de caju' became one of the most exported products.
These cultures helped by a favorable nature, are mostly produced in dry and warm regions of the state because of little of pests and the rainy lack, filled by a checked irrigation coming from numerous rivers and artificial lakes.
Activities of the oil, the gas and the salt
Rio Grande do Norte is the second state after Rio de Janeiro, in the production of oil through the company Petrobras.
The ground extraction of the oil is in strong increase and is made in several regions of the North of the state, mainly Mossoró, Macau and Guamaré.
Several oil platforms in the sea, near Guamaré extract the oil which is forwarded by oil pipelines to the treatment station of Guamaré which transforms it into diesel and fuel, but also the gas transformed into natural gas for the industry and for the cooking(kitchen).
The pole gas and salt also attracts several investments from Petrobras and government, bringing the installation of chemical and petrochemical industries :
The installation of a thermoelectric to generate some energy, from the produced natural gas.
Manufacturing of glasses and cleaners from the manufacturing of 'barrilha', raw material on base of salt and water limestone.
The producing park of salt situated between Macau and Areia Branca 'Costa Branca', produces today 90% of the Brazilian sea salt.
Tourism and Economy of regions
Assets for a strong economic and tourist development
With exceptional climatic conditions of sun, low pluviometry, nice temperature and winds, and a geomorphology privileged with more than 400 km of coast formed by beaches, dunes, bays and cliffs, the state with environmental appeals has all the assets for a strong economic and tourist development.
The development of Natal
Natal, called The Sun City, has faced for some years a strong increase of tourist and real estate business, due to :
The opening of the International airport of Natal.
The increase of the hotel capacity.
The divulgation in Brazil and in Europe of this tourist destination.
The improvement of the infrastructures of the city and the hotel capacity.
The economy is concentrated around the tertiary activity and tourism, mainly in the beach of Ponta Negra.
The tourist explosion and the economy of the Tibau do Sul and Pipa region
The region of Tibau do Sul knows a tourist explosion since the middle of the 90s, introduced by the fast growth of Pipa, fishermen's village that became a seaside resort in some years, but also by the enormous tourist potential which the region concentrates.
The local economy is mainly concentrated on three activities:
The production of shrimps in the bay of Guarairas and Cunhau.
The culture of sugar cane on trays set back from the coast.
Tourism which very quickly developed in some years.
In front of the enormous tourist potential, the region equipped itself quickly in infrastructure, mainly since the arrival of the international flights which allowed the Europeans to visit and to invest in hotels, pousadas and apartments on the coast.