The FIFA World Cup champion ended up being Germany, but it was Rio de Janeiro who hit the jackpot during the tournament, with special emphasis on financial transactions. According to a study conducted by the UFF and ESPM Universities in partnership with RIOTUR – The City of Rio Tourism Authority and Sebrae RJ, the city received 471,000 foreign tourists and 415,000 domestic visitors in the period, a total of 886,000 tourists. The revenue from tourism, which had been initially estimated in R$ 1 billion by the Ministry of Tourism, was quadrupled to R$ 4.4 billion.
The calculated average expenditure was R$ 639.52 per day and the average time spent in Rio was nine days. The survey also found that 58 percent of respondents intend to return in two year time, to watch the 2016 Olympic Games.
“During transmission of the final, watched by over 3 billion people around the world, beautiful images of Christ the Redeemer were televised showing the astonishing sunset with the Maracanã Stadiumin the background, as well as the crowded FIFA Fan Fest arena on the sands of Copacabana beach. We showed our beauty and hospitality to the world. We received compliments from journalists and the approval of tourists in the survey that evaluated our services, and our charisma as hosts were frequently pointed out. Our greatest legacy is this, and that is intangible. But the numbers show that the City has gained much in economic terms too,” said Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, The City of Rio Secretary of Tourism.
Also according to the survey data, the countries represented by the most tourists were:
1. Argentina (77,000)
2. Chile (45,000)
3. Colombia (31,000)
4. Ecuador (24,000)
5. United States (24,000)
6. France (16,000)
7. Mexico (15,000)
8. England (10,000)
9. Germany (10,000)
The FIFA Fan Fest received a total of 814,666 people within its arena set up on Copacabana Beach – not to mention the thousands more who watched on the big screen mounted on the outside of the event for the Brazil game days and the final, bringing together over 100,000 people. The attendance record of the event in the inner area came on the 5th of July, when 55,533 people entered the site. 72 music acts performed at the stage in the arena, totaling 76 hours of shows and 300 hours of entertainment.
According to the Brazilian Hotel Industry Association (ABIH/RJ), the average occupancy rate of hotels in the city was 93.8%, hitting 97.66 percent during the final at the Maracanã. Five-star hotels were the most popular, achieving an average occupancy of 98.15 percent to 99.75 percent during the final. At 3 and 4 star establishments, the average was 93.22 percent, with 97.42 percent during the final match. The average occupancy rate of the hostels was 86 percent in the period, reaching 100 percent during the final week, according to the Bed Breakfast and Hostels Association of the State of Rio de Janeiro (ACCARJ).
Christ Redeemer received 295,917 visitors during the World Cup. The second week of the event almost broke the record visitation of 2013 World Youth Day, which also took place in July last year for one week and took 74,021 people to the monument. Between June 16 and 22, the second week of the World Cup, Tijuca National Park received 73,716 visitors. According to Corcovado’s annual stocktaking, the monument has an average of 5,000 visitors per day, but during the World Cup, up to 12,000 visitors were registered daily. The Sugarloaf, which usually receives 3,000 people a day had peaks of up to 8,000 daily passengers on the cable car, having received 174,830 tourists during the event.
In stationary tourist information kiosks provided by RIOTUR, 71,553 people received tourist information since the start of the FIFA World Cup, 84.8 percent of them foreigners. Copacabana beach, Novo Rio Bus Terminal and airport kiosks took the most requests. In the 17 temporary kiosks there were 87,615 attendances, especially those placed by the subway stations, the International Airport and the Maracanã stadium. Tourism agents, who distributed information materials at strategic points of intense activity, attended 53,554 people from the beginning. The emphasis is on the coastline, which accounts for almost 50 percent of the daily demand. The most requested item was the city map. Summing all the requests taken by tourism employees, whether they worked in fixed locations, whether temporary, 212,722 requests for touristic information were registered throughout the period of the tournament. The distribution of information material kept up with immense demand: 390,000 Rio Guides, 1.7 million city maps, 500,000 Spectator’s Guide folders and 10,300 press kits were distributed.
The Rio Walking Tour project, that offered guided visits on foot for free in the neighborhoods of Downtown, Ipanema and Copacabana, hosted 689 people from 35 different countries, such as Israel, Singapore, Bolivia, Sweden, Kazakstan, Ukraine, Austria, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, Peru, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua, countries that didn’t even have teams competing in the World Cup.
The press tours also had great demand: 583 media workers were able to learn more about the Marvelous City through press and sports tours or workshops offered by RIOTUR from the beginning of the competition.
Parking lots opened by the City to receive the (mostly Argentine) South American tourists who came to experience the competition in motor homes, trailers and recreational vehicles operated until Wednesday 16th July , at11 am. On Sunday, July 13, there were about 900 vehicles parked in total, distributed between the Sambadrome, São Cristóvão Fair and Terreirão do Samba.
A survey conducted by GMR Inteligência de Mercado by request of the City Government through the Secretary of Tourism/RIOTUR, found that among foreign tourists, 98.8 percent of the respondents had met or exceeded expectations and 98. 3 percent would recommend the destination to family and friends. The hospitality of Rio was pointed out by 97.1 percent as excellent or good.
Regarding the city’s public services, the foreign visitor gave 89 percent of positive ratings, followed closely by the Tourist Signs, with 82.6 percent approval. Public Security and Public Cleansing Service were also well-rated, with over 76 percent considering the services good or excellent.
City of Rio Tourism Authority releases World Cup data