By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Foreign visitors coming to Rio de Janeiro to attend the Olympic will add an extra US$200 million in revenues to the country in August, according to the latest data from Brazil’s Central Bank. According to the entity, the volume of revenues is significantly lower than that registered during the 2014 World Cup, when foreign visitors spent US$900 million.
The estimate by the Central Bank takes into consideration foreign spending by visitors from the end of July to the start of September, and does not include the Paralympic Games. According to Tulio Maciel, the Bank’s Economic Department Chief, the forecast of the additional spending is based on revenues left behind by foreign tourists and athletes in the last three Olympics.
Nonetheless, Brazilian officials are optimistic that the Games set the stage for foreign visitors to return to the country in the future. “It will be an opportunity for visitors from over 200 countries to discover our destinations and take advantage of the best in tourism services,” said Tourism Minister Alberto Alves, adding that the Olympics and Paralympics are expected to make a positive impact on the Brazilian economy.
Data from the Central Bank shows that foreign visitors spent an accumulated total of US$3.156 billion in the first six months of 2016, an increase of 7.2 percent in relation to the same period in 2015.
Yet if foreign visitors are spending more in Brazil this year, the same can not be said for Brazilians traveling abroad. Although Brazilians continue to spend more abroad than foreigners spend here, due to the weak economy and a devaluated Brazilian real, Brazilians spent 34.29 percent less in the first half of this year than in the same period last year, dropping spending to a little over US$6.5 billion from January to June.