Published on : Tuesday, June 17, 2014
It is sure to meet its target of attracting some 600,000 foreign and domestic visitors’ for the month long event that will end on July 13.
The Tourism Minister Vinicius Lages is overwhelmed with the balance sheet of the first few days.
Brazil was on course to net $3 billion from tourist’s passing through 12 host cities. Passengers waiting in the confines of the airports in Minas Gerais for their connecting flights are glued to the television sets watching the World Cup.
He felt that this opportunity that the World Cup has brought will help showcase the wealth of Brazil’s picturesque locales.
He acknowledged that there were social problems but this country is “a happy country, a spa for the soul.”
He said that the decision to offer free visas for U.S. citizens was a smart move as they are the second-largest buyers of the World Cup ticket.
Brazil, with just six million tourists a year, lags far behind other major tourist destinations — compared to the 83 million France attracted last year and 67 million for the United States.
He said Brazil must latch onto the interest generated by the World Cup to fulfill more of its tourist potential, using the 2016 Rio Olympics as an additional springboard.
But he conceded there needed to be improvements in infrastructure, most notably transport.
With widespread criticism about hosting the World cup and Olympic Games owing to its weak infrastructure and its own country people’s opposition in hosting both these events.
They felt that the governments has functioned badly in handling many issues related to its countrymen.
Also the country was not altogether ready with its stadium and airport. So, much needs to be done in these fronts to raise Brazil to a top level of world tourism.