The 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament will generate an economic impact of more than $11.5 billion for the Brazilian economy, according to Embratur, the Brazil Tourism Board. Approximately 7.2 million tourists are expected to travel to Brazil during the tournament, including about 600,000 soccer fans.
Public and private interests are investing a total of $20 billion in preparation for the event, according to Embratur. The funds will be allocated to long-term investments and advancements for the tourism industry and for infrastructure including airports, roads and public safety.
“Brazil’s government is currently in the third stage of its World Cup planning, which includes investments in aviation, port, airport development and public transportation in the 12 host cities – Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo,” said Flávio Dino, Embratur’s president.
Brazil’s World Cup tourism initiatives include the “Host Well Cup” and “Hello Tourist!” training programs for tourism professionals, currently under development by Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism. The programs are designed to train travel professionals for the influx of visitors leading up to 2014.
The $200 million Host Well Cup program will help professionals to meet international standards of hospitality that impact tourism, including hotels and transportation; the ministry aims to train more than 360,000 tourism professionals through the program by the end of 2013. “Hello Tourist!” will teach professionals and students English and Spanish to facilitate better communication with tourists. Approximately 80,000 professionals and students are currently enrolled in the program in the 12 cities hosting World Cup games.
“The Brazilian government has put all possible measures in place to ensure a successful FIFA World Cup whose legacy will last for years to come,” said Dino. “The country has developed a clear timeline and strategy that will deliver an unforgettable World Cup experience for all.”