The next holiday season will be the final for one of the most traditional summer attractions in Rio Grande do Norte: the camel ride on the dunes of Genipabu beach in the municipality of Extremoz (20 km from Natal).
Since launching 1998, the attraction experienced its worst season this year. In June, it suspended the service for 20 days due to a "decline in tourism in the region."
Even before making this final decision, Cleide Batista had begun selling off his animals. Dromedunas already had 20 camels working daily on the tours. Initially, five were sold (before 2018). In recent months, four other animals have been sold.
At the beginning of the year in 2000, one company had 120 tours a day. Last summer (2018-2019), the most you could get per day were 45 tours. Currently, in the low season, the daily average is 20 tourists served.
The lack of partnership with buyers and agencies is one of the recurring problems in the last two years.
After 20 years, the tour had questions about the use of animals. In 2013, it became a target of an Internet campaign that gathered more than 50,000 signatures against the use of camels. But the tour is legalized by the environmental agencies, and the animals are accompanied by a veterinary team.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon