By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian Hotel Industry Association in Rio de Janeiro (ABIH-RJ) has announced that 60.76 percent of all hotel beds in Rio de Janeiro have been booked for Carnival 2015. The survey was conducted between January 13th and 18th, exactly a month before the festivities begin.
Last year, a month before Carnival 58.83 percent of all hotel beds had been booked. The increased numbers for 2015 point to the estimated influx of tourists for this year’s festivities. The beds in five star hotels are among the most popular and are expected to receive a total of 67.02 percent occupation rate at the end.
Hostels are filling up even faster and have already 82 percent of their beds booked, according to the hostel association in Rio de Janeiro. Those still looking for a cheaper place to sleep at Carnival, will have to act fast, as Rio expects to receive around five million participants in the blocos, of which almost one million will be visitors to the city.
The government is monitoring the situation and trying to help divert tourists to other places in Rio de Janeiro state. “The expectation of the government is to receive even more tourists this year in the entire state, as the visibility of the city has been increased through the megaevents. Our intention is it to expand and prioritize the flow [of tourists] to towns in the interior, which are preparing for the increased demand already this year,” Secretary of Tourism Nilo Sérgio Félix, explained.
The city as a whole is already in full preparation for this year’s Carnival party. This week illumination in the city has been checked and improved in order to increase visibility and safety during the Samba parades and street parties. In the Sambódromo 32 lamps of 2,000 watts have been replaced and several projectors have been installed.
Street vendors, approved for selling their products around the samba arena, have received training in food hygiene and the city is preparing to send 7,537 agents of public order, such as municipal guards, 235 teams of Comlurb, the city’s cleaning company, and around 1,050 traffic agents to the streets of Rio to ensure a smooth operation.