By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - As the official summer season starts in Rio de Janeiro, a stronger dollar and afterglow of successfully hosting the 2014 World Cup may mean an increase in foreign tourism this year. Hotel occupancy rates are already up and the tourism sector is optimistic, hoping for a boost to the slowing economy.

According to the Brazilian Hotel Industry Association (ABIH-RJ), the average occupancy rate of hotels between December 2014 and March 2015 is likely to be 10 to 15 percent higher than in the same period of last season.

"The average . . .

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