The national team may not have had the best luck, but the country of Brazil as a whole is reporting major success after hosting the 2014 World Cup, according to the Brazilian federal government, CNN reports.
Brazil’s federal government is reporting that international visits accounted for roughly 1 million people traveling to Brazil during the month-long games. That’s a steep increase from what the country predicted before the soccer matches were underway. Pre-Cup projections put international tourist numbers down around just 600,000. Regarding the high amount of media attention surrounding the riots, protests and strikes by public workers, it goes to show that international tourists were willing to brave some of the possibly dangerous elements to see the World Cup games.
Hospitable, fun and remarkably safe
Danger is the farthest thing from what tourists experienced during the month, according to government feedback, however.
“Brazil showed that they know how to win, lose, host and celebrate peace with respect and a ‘make yourself at home’ atmosphere that won the world over,” Aloisio Mercadante, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff, said in a statement, according to CNN.
That summation is a close interpretation of the truth according to other government data that claims 95 percent of foreign visitors said they intended to return to the South American nation in the future. That could mean a huge boom in Brazilian tourism, which could help the hosting cities utilize some of the newer infrastructures built specifically for World Cup tourists. Ultimately, the report paints a much more positive picture compared to what tourists imagined what could happen during a visit to the believed to be hostile territory. Many travelers claim both locals and the country atmosphere were incredibly pleasant in general – a particularly stunning feat with regards to the unprecedented defeat suffered by the host country in the quarterfinals against Germany.
A dose of skepticism but a positive outlook
The tourism industry in Brazil may grow impressively, but others aren’t sold by the government reports. According to CNN, the Brazilian Airline Association claimed air travel in Brazil actually dropped during the World Cup period compared to numbers from the previous year. Some suggest that may be due to skyrocketing fares and increased prices of goods during the massive event. Other economists claim the tourism industry actually suffered due to the World Cup because more people traveling for soccer means less people traveling for tourism.
All in all, the Brazilians will be eagerly waiting to see how the tourist industry will favor in years to come. Many still argue about the effects of big sporting events on tourist levels, but it’s a hard topic to dispute when 950,000 travelers say they plan on visiting again.