By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro can be considered a success story, with the city receiving more than 1.17 million tourists during the seventeen days between the opening and closing ceremony, concluded Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes on Tuesday (August 23rd). Although the Games cost an estimated 43 percent more than initially budgeted, officials were quick to highlight the positive impact for the city.
“We always hear that the locals use improvisation to get things done, but during these Games they showed much more than just friendliness. They revealed the power of an amazing people, able to plan, organize, and seriously work to solve problems with great agility. This made the Rio 2016 this huge success,” Paes said during the wrap-up press conference to journalists at the Rio Media Center.
According to officials 410,000 foreign tourists came to Rio for the Games, spending a daily average of R$424.62 during their stay. The city also received 760,000 Brazilians coming from all over the country, who spent a little less, R$310.42/day, but nonetheless helped to boost city revenues.
Other numbers are also impressive. The Brazilian Hotel Industry Association of Rio de Janeiro (ABIH-RJ) said that the occupancy rate during the Games reached 94 percent. In the public transportation area more than eleven million passengers were registered using buses and trains during the Games, with an average of 700,000 passengers/day using public transportation.
President Temer’s Chief of Staff, Eliseu Padilha, also at the press conference, said that Rio is today a different city with a huge legacy. “Certainly, after this edition the Olympic Games the world will be different. All tourists, especially foreigners, were able to detect in Brazil what is our biggest capital: the Brazilian people,” stated Padilha.
According to the official 98 percent of visitors said that the hospitality of the Brazilians ‘was absolutely unbeatable’ and 95 percent said they would return to the country for another visit.