By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Airports and bus terminals in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are expected to be busy at this end of year as travelers hurry to get to their destinations and say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016. According to officials, more than 1.2 million people are expected to pass through the bus terminals of these three cities between December 30th, 2015 and January 4th, 2016.
According to Rio de Janeiro’s Novo Rio Bus Terminal Administration more than 265,000 travelers are expected to pass through the city’s main bus terminal until January 3rd, with the most popular destinations for those leaving the city being the beaches along the southern coast of the state and in the Lagos (Lakes) region.
A great majority of travelers leaving São Paulo’s busy Tiete Bus Terminal will also head to coastal towns in São Paulo state, as well as Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis and Curitiba. Officials expect more than 900,000 people to pass through the terminal until January 3rd.
Despite the dwindling economy and the high prices of air travel, airports in Rio, São Paulo and Brasilia are expected to register an increase in travelers. At Brasilia’s International Airport the increase in passengers will be of approximately five percent in relation to the same period last year, according to officials, with approximately 1.87 million passengers leaving or arriving in the capital. To accommodate the increased number of passengers, 610 extra flights were added to the airport’s schedule.
An increase of ten thousand passengers is expected at Rio’s Tom Jobim International Airport, with nearly 1.4 million passengers passing through the gates, according to the airport’s press department.
For those planning to watch the traditional fireworks and ring in 2016 on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, however, more police officers are expected to be seen guaranteeing security. According to Rio’s military police the number of officers patrolling the streets during the end-of-year celebrations will be 22 percent higher than in 2014. The increase in police officers is due to the increased number of tourists in the city. In all, twelve thousand officers will be guarding the streets of the capital.