By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – This year’s Carnival festivities, to take place from February 9th to 13th, is expected to inject over R$11.14 billion with a total of 10.69 million Brazilian travelers and 400,000 international tourists, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
If confirmed this year’s mega-party will register a growth of 0.75 percent in the number of tourists compared to the holiday in 2017.
“We expect to have the best carnival in history in the tourism industry and the forecasts of the numbers of travelers and financial movement prove this,” Tourism Minister, Marx Beltrão, was quoted as saying by the Ministry’s press corps.
“This is the result of work being done to prepare more and more destinations to receive visitors from all over Brazil and also the world, with improvements in infrastructure, qualification of services and legalization of the sector,” added the official.
The cities most popular for this year’s Carnival, according to the government, are Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Recife and Olinda. Together, say officials, they represent 65 percent of all financial transactions in the period, forecast at R$7.4 billion.
With more than 470 Carnival blocos and 600 parades in addition to the official samba school parades Sunday (February 11th) and Monday (February 12th) Rio de Janeiro city officials are estimating 1.5 million tourists will join the more than five million residents to spend more than R$3.5 billion in the capital during the five-day festivities.
In addition, despite the competition from internet hospitality services, such as AirBnb, hotel association SindHotels says it expects occupancy rate in the popular tourist area of Zona Sul to reach over 85 percent.