The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism has confirmed that about 719,000 visitors attended Rio’s annual Carnival celebrations this year. The Brazilian Association of Hotels said hotel records were broken with 90 per cent occupancy, up from last year’s 86 per cent, boosting Rio’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
A Rio 2016 press release says of the approximately 1200 visitors interviewed between February 21 and 23, 98 per cent said their visit to Rio exceeded or met their expectations. According to the press release the results of the 2009 survey highlight a positive assessment among interviewees with regards to urban transport services and tourist information in Rio.
International visitors gave an average rating of 8.5 (out of 10) to public transport services in Rio and 8.4 (out of 10) to tourist information services, both ranking higher than the 2008 results in which these services were rated 8.0 and 7.8 respectively.
There were also improved results regarding safety in Rio. Visitors generally appeared to feel safer during this year’s events with ratings for the city’s security services rising to 7.7 (out of 10) from 7.2 in 2008.
Carlos Nuzman, President of Rio 2016 said, “we welcome the results of Riotur’s (the city’s official tourism agency) 2009 survey as a clear sign of our city’s ability to host large-scale events safely and draw significant amounts of international visitors to experience the greatest Carnival in the world. All levels of government in Brazil are committed to further developing Rio’s infrastructure to enable us to continue to deliver unforgettable events and seek to host some of the world’s greatest events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games”.