Brazil is much more than beaches, tourists and investors told

A new marketing plan to boost Brazil overseas will emphasize the country's history, culture and outdoor facilities in a bid to show it is more than just beaches that are attractive.

Tourism institute Embratur wants to raise the profile of the South American nation across the world. It believes that there is much more to Brazil than many people realise and this is part of a long term plan to attract more visitors and investors.

'Brazil is a hugely diverse land. We have beach resorts, but we also have much more including fascinating fossils in Dinosaur valley, world heritage cities like Ouro Preto and Olinda and many outdoor pursuits such as caving, canyoning, fishing and bird watching,' said a spokesman.

'We are stepping up our efforts to promote this wide variety of attractions to prospective visitors and investors worldwide. We are a modern country with huge diversity both natural and cultural,' he added.

But the institute is also laying down a challenge to industry. 'There is a large amount still to be done. New infrastructure is vital, especially extra flights to and from Brazil.

The discovery of a new reef off Brazil's southern coast is expected to boost visitor numbers and increase rental yields in the area.

It is being called one of the worlds most unique and important marine finds. 'It is very exciting and highly unusual to discover a reef structure this large and harbouring such an abundance of fish,' said Rodrigo de Moura, a marine specialist with Conservation International.