By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio de Janeiro hoteliers are celebrating this season with a surge in hotel occupancy rates for the city during the New Year’s festivities. The average occupancy rate reached 85 percent surpassing the 51 percent rate registered a year ago.
“Due to the current market behavior, the guests will come primarily from the domestic market, which usually book on the eve of the holiday,” stated the president of the Brazilian Hotel Industry Association of Rio de Janeiro (ABIH-RJ), Alfredo Lopes.
“Nonetheless, reservations for neighborhoods such as Flamengo and Barra da Tijuca, which have prices a little below the traditional Zona Sul (Southern Zone), are already quite heated,” added Lopes.
According to the association, the largest demand was registered in Flamengo, with 91 percent of its hotel rooms occupied, followed by Ipanema and Leblon, with 89 percent each.
SindHotels Rio says that for the first time the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood is in greater demand than Copacabana, which, to date, has an 85 percent occupancy rate.
Lopes says, however, that the neighborhood which hosts one of the largest open-air New Year’s party in the world will be full by December 31st.
“Copacabana is always full; it is one of the largest New Year’s (party) in the world. This year will not be different, “said Alfredo.
To celebrate the arrival of 2019, Copacabana Beach will host a 14-minute fireworks display. Riotur (Rio City Government Tourism Agency) predicts is that the party will attract more than two million people.
According to estimates by the government entity, approximately one million tourists should visit Rio for the end-of-the-year festivities, injecting R$3 billion into the city.