Brazil is preparing for major tourist invasion as two of the world’s biggest sporting events are scheduled to be held in the country in the coming years. The 2014 World Cup is the first global football championship held in South America in almost 40 years and the first Olympic Summer Games ever will be staged in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
According to the country’s tourist board Brazil is expecting twice the number of visitors that it has in normal years. In 2010, about 5 million visitors came to the South American country. That is a very low number compared to France which has almost 80 million visitors a year and the US with 60 million.
There are two main reasons why Brazil has not been a popular tourist attraction over the years. For one, it is very far away from Europe and flight costs make it an expensive place to go to and secondly the country’s crime rate has been scaring off many potential tourists.
Brazil’s economy is booming and the money that it is generating is being invested in infrastructure and projects for the future. Airports are being improved, roads are being built and public transportationexpanded. New hotels are being constructed and more and more people are being employed and trained to handle the influx of tourists in the coming years.
Tourist organizations hope that many of them will get a lasting impression of the country so that they might come back sometime. The Brazilian government hopes that successful sporting events will give the country a major boost in tourism, like the Sydney Olympics did in 2000 or the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
As 12 cities prepare to host the matches of the football World Cup Brazil wants to show the world that it cannot only play football and dance to samba rhythms but also organize high-scale events.
Once tourists are in the country they should not only concentrate on the sporting highlights but also visit many other spectacular attractions that Brazil has to offer, like the Iguacu Falls in the south, or the Amazon rainforest in the north and central parts of the country.
In order to make things go smoothly during the games Brazilian authorities are trying hard to tackle crime especially in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Police forces are supported by army units in an attempt to drive gangs and drug traffickers out of the city areas.