By Leo Byrne, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Minister of Tourism for Brazil, Gaston Vieira, visited the Complexo do Alemão on Monday in order to view the district’s novel gondola transportation system and observe the changes that have occurred in the neighborhood since its pacification.
The visit was at the invitation of Rio’s ministers for tourism and transportation Ronald Ázaro and Julio Lopes, with the aim of highlighting the cable car’s importance in the community.
During the visit Minister Vieira took the opportunity to announce greater co-operation between state and federal governments with the objective of fostering more tourism in pacified favela communities.
“The pacified communities are already part of tourism in Rio. However they need the government to contribute greater resources while further infrastructure needs to be developed.” He told assembled reporters.
Minister Vieira began his tour by visiting the gondola’s control center, before heading to the teleferico’s first station at Bonsucesso in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone). From there he traveled to the last station at Palmeiras, where he admired the views over the city.
“[The improvements in the district] have surpassed all expectations; it is now a place that is visited by tourists. Within the Complexo do Alemão they can find restaurants, history and, nature. Tourists are no longer restricted to the Zona Sul [South Zone]. We want to increasingly contribute to the development of tourism in the state of Rio.” Minister Vieira continued.
The cable car or ‘teleférico’ as it’s locally known first opened in July 2011 as part of Rio’s PAC program to improve conditions in Rio’s poorest areas. Since then the number of people using the unusual method of transport has been steadily increasing and it now carries 11,000 passengers every weekend.
A second gondola system is currently being tested and set to open this month in Providência, Rio’s oldest favela. Much like the teleférico in Complexo do Alemão, residents of the favela community will be entitled to use the gondolas twice a day free of charge. Tourists and visitors will have to pay a small fee to use the service, R$1 per trip.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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