Rio received approximately 730,000 Brazilian and Foreign tourists during carnival, having registered 94% occupation rates in its hotel infrastructure. The estimate is by the Riotur, the municipal organization responsible for promotion of the city.
The index represented growth of 10 percentage points over the Carnaval of 2009.
Such a number of visitors was responsible for greater funds left in the city. The income generated rose from 521 million Brazilian reais (US$ 281 million) in 2009 to 528 million reais (US$ 285 million) this year.
According to the municipal secretary of Tourism, Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, the greater international visibility of the city last year, after winning the dispute to host the 2016 Olympics and being elected the best gay destination and happiest city in the world, contributed to the good results.
“Rio has been in fashion since then and celebrities from all over the world have been visiting it, helping maintain Rio in the media,” he said.
As a strategy to further stimulate the sector growth, this year Riotur plans to expand its participation in tourism fairs in the country and abroad, as well as bringing journalists to learn more about the city.
“We have a group of 17 foreign journalists learning about the city during Carnaval, in partnership with the Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Institute) and the Apex (Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency). Apart from that, we have already started incrementing our web participation, with a new site and also in social networks,” he added.
The Belgian Thierry Tor, who is spending Carnaval in Rio for the third year running, believes that the diversification of options for Carnaval celebration, with greater investment in popular blocks (where people follow a sound truck, dancing and singing), is also calling attention of those outside.
“The traditional attractions, like samba school parades, are beautiful. But it is the street Carnaval that enchants tourists the most, as they like popular and democratic manifestations,” he pointed out.
This year, Thierry followed the Cordão do Boitatá, in downtown Rio, as well as blocks in Santa Tereza, also in the central region, and in Ipanema, in the southern zone.
According to figures supplied by the city hall, around 500 blocks tow thousands of people around several neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval.