By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While worries increase that Argentina’s financial crisis could affect Brazilian production and exports, in Rio de Janeiro, officials forecast that the more than 100,000 tourists from Argentina expected to arrive for the 2014 FIFA World Cup final could inject upwards of US$100 million into the state’s economy.
To earn their spot in the final, Argentina edged out Holland 4-2 during penalties to win their semi-final match on Wednesday, July 9th. They will go up against Germany, who devastated Brazil 7-1 during their semi-final match on July 8th.
Argentina’s fans are now following them in droves to Rio de Janeiro, filling the city with the colors blue and white and the sounds of Spanish songs and chants as they gear up in support for their team.
While neighboring Argentina’s squad is a notorious rival of Brazil, Rio vendors, retailers, restaurants and hotels aim to make the Argentinian tourists’ stay enjoyable.
Cláudio Magnavita, the Rio de Janeiro State Secretary of Tourism, told Agência Brasil that Rio will become a “champion as host, since it was not possible to be a champion of football [soccer].”
According to the State Secretary of Tourism, hotels in the city are already at 90 to 100 percent capacity and the camping sites of Terreirão do Samba and the Sambódromo, in Centro (Downtown) Rio have received, as of Thursday, July 10th, more than 200 cars, trucks, trailers and motor homes.
The Terreirão do Samba was designated for parking and camping after numerous issues arose from vehicles parked illegally in and around Leme Beach in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone) near the FIFA Fan Fest area. Once established, vendors also set up shop in the Terreirão do Samba area to help accommodate the tourists.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the World Cup has boosted the economy throughout Brazil with foreign tourists and Brazilians having spent approximately R$4.05 billion in the twelve Brazilian host cities thus far during the tournament.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup final match will take place at the legendary Maracanã Stadium this Sunday, July 13th, at 4PM.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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