Industry Is Finally Beefing Up In Bahia...

Three years ago, just six international flights landed each week in Bahia state, the gateway to Brazil's poor, drought-plagued but folklore-rich northeast. Today, visitors stream into two international airports aboard 86 flights per week. Travelers leery of crime-ridden Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's traditional tourist mecca, are being drawn to Bahia's 1,103 km of sun-drenched coastline as an alternative to Rio's Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. Bahia has other attractions, too: gold-studded church interiors in Salvador, the colonial capital; vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture and music; and its own idiosyncratic cuisine, flavored with coconut and hot spices.

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