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By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The final figures are in for Rio de Janeiro hotels during the seven days of the latest edition of Rock in Rio (September 15th – 17th, 21st – 24th), and it’s all positive.

Brazil, Brazil News, Rio de Janeiro
Hotels in Barra, like the Sheraton Barra Hotel seen above, saw big boosts in occupancy rates during the 2017 Rock in Rio music festival, photo by Edgardo W. Olivera/Flickr Creative Commons License.

According to international market research firm, STR, hotels in Barra da Tijuca, closest to the event’s Cidade do Rock venue, showed a marked increase during the mega music event. During the seven days, Barra hotels saw occupancy rates skyrocket to 81.4 percent, a whopping 69.1 percent increase over the rest of September.

Even more impressive, occupancy in Barra hotels increased in spite of a 64.8 percent markup in average daily rates during the period, which amounted to approximately R$556 per night.

Hotels outside of Barra also received a big boost during the iconic festival, with occupancy rates throughout the Cidade Maravilhosa jumping 54.8 percent. Average daily rates saw a more modest increase compared to Barra, of 12.8 percent during the seven days.

According to STR, for the year leading up to Rock in Rio in September, Rio hotels had seen occupancy levels decline -17.4 percent, to an actual occupancy rate of 45.5 percent.

But, the boost received from the seven days of Rock in Rio, was able to reverse that trend, if only temporarily, lifting the entire month of September to a 4.9 percent occupancy rate increase. That figure represents the first positive metric seen in Rio’s struggling hotel sector since the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“A year after the Olympics, it’s encouraging to see Rio hotels benefit from another big event,” said STR’s South American Director, Patricia Boo. “Thanks to the festival, September was Rio’s first month of occupancy growth since August 2016.”

These latest positive numbers come amid a torrent of negative publicity surrounding Rio’s declining tourist industry, credited mostly to recent increases in violence, particularly in Rio’s favela communities.

Despite these issues, Brazil’s federal government recently unveiled plans to drive tourism in the city with investments of more than R$1 billion, which includes private sector partnerships.

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