By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last Monday, December 18th, Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) announced they would be a new sponsor of Rio’s 2018 New Year’s celebrations.
According to Riotur, the public bank will participate with the amount of R$2 million, to be granted through the Rouanet Law, which stimulates the private investment in cultural initiatives.
BNDES’ sponsoring initiative is a response to Rio’s City Hall’s effort to attract private investment to the 2018 New Year’s. Concerned with reducing the public expenses with the serious economic crisis faced by Rio’s State, the City Hall also confirmed the sponsorship of Petrobras and is negotiating the participation of three other companies.
“This is the first time BNDES supports the event. We want to help revitalizing Rio by sponsoring the New Year’s party because this is the very event that marks the beginning of ‘Janeiro a Janeiro’ project to stimulate Rio’s tourism,” says Marcelo Kieling, BNDES’ presidency adviser.
All the amount is being directly destined to SRCOM, company responsible for organizing the event in the last ten years. In total, Rio’s New Year’s festivities are costing R$25 million, R$17 million out of which being from the private sector, and R$8 million from the City Hall budget. According to Riotur, the money is being used for the pyrotechnic shows and for organizing the stage of Copacabana’s New Year’s, to be set in front of Copacabana Palace Hotel.
Despite Rio’s economic crisis and its impacts on the funds for the New Year’s official celebrations, the party at Copacabana beach promises to surprise the audience with drones broadcasting the fireworks spectacle live, a 17 minute pyrotechnic show (which is five minutes longer than last year’s) and renowned musical attractions, like singer Anitta.
Copacabana’s New Year’s celebration remains a favorite option among Cariocas and many expatriates in Rio. “The energy and the atmosphere is like no other. Having your feet in the sand and watching the fireworks from Copacabana is simply unique,” says Australian Amber Johnston, strategist of company Alchemy Strategy.
Riotur expects the city to host 2.7 million people for the New Year’s festivities, which are believed to boost Rio’s tourism in 20 percent. According to the Brazilian Association of the Hotel Industry (ABIH-RJ), the hotel occupancy rates as of Monday, December 18th, were at 83 percent.