Foreign and Brazilian tourists are expected to spend $10.4 billion during next year’s World Cup, more than the public funds invested for staging the event, the Brazilian tourism board said Friday.
“These are important resources which fuel economic sectors of all Brazilian regions, from aviation to the informal economy,” said Flavio Dino, president of state tourism board Embratur, in a statement titled “Mega-events are worth it.”
He recalled that the Confederations Cup, a 15-day dry run last June for the World Cup, injected $311 million in the Brazilian economy.
It was staged in the middle of massive nation-wide street protests in which hundreds of thousands of Brazilians demanded a better quality of life, an end to corruption and railed against the high cost of staging the World Cup and the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
A month later, World Youth Day, a major Catholic youth fest held in the presence of Pope Francis in Rio, injected another $502 million into the economy.
And Dino said that even if revenues do not totally cover investments for major events, it was important to note that one out of three reals invested by the federal government for the World Cup is disbursed to upgrade urban mobility projects in major cities.
He added that apart from immediate gains, events like the World Cup and World Youth Day give Brazil a visibility that would normally take “decades” to obtain.
“Some see major events as gobbling up resources that could be allocated to public services. I prefer to see them as a big gamble on a new development project which obviously encompasses an urgent modernization of public services,” the Embratur chief said.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]