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Sep 26, 2016 03:30 PM


Rio 2016 raises the bar for Olympic and Paralympic sports

Tourists from around the world in Rio for the Games highlighted the hospitality of Brazilians

Beyond the physical signs of transformation, the Olympic and Paralympic Games have left an intangible legacy for Brazil. During 47 days, the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate sport and all its diversity. In the Wonderful City, they packed arenas, got to know our culture, tasted our cuisine and, above all, approved the hospitality of our people.

Photo: Getty Images

A survey conducted by the Ministry of Tourism revealed that 90.5% of tourists interviewed intend to return, with 87.8% of interviewees rating the trip to Brazil as either meeting or exceeding their expectations. The positive numbers are a testament to the great success of the Rio 2016 Games, adding tourism to the list of great legacies for Brazil. In addition to injecting resources in the Brazilian economy, the mega event proved that Brazilians are able to organise and deliver [mega events], and give their best to their visitors.

Photo: Roberto Castro/

When they ended on 18 September, the Rio de Janeiro Games had already become the most "commented, clicked on and shared" Games in history. Thanks to all the attention that Rio attracted, the world got to know a bit more about the natural beauty and incredible cultural wealth that make Brazil an excellent destination. Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said that Brazilians were great hosts, and Brazil had much to be proud of.

During a press conference, Bach recalled that coexisting with differences and the Olympic spirit were also in full display in Rio. "We have lived symbolic stories. We had athletes from Ukraine and Russia embracing and congratulating each other. And more than that, we had the American athlete who said to her colleague: 'Get up, we have to finish, these are the Olympic Games'. I think nothing describes the Olympic spirit and fair play better than this gesture and these words," he added.


Ever since Rio won the bid to host the Games, Brazil has been working to delight the world and realise its capacity to host mega events. That capacity was tried and tested in the last two months, with recognised success. The first Olympic and Paralympic Games on Brazilian soil have made history. The president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, said the organisation of Rio 2016 raised the bar for the next Games.

"It is reason for immense pride to conclude this project with national and international recognition of the success obtained. We have established a new standard for Olympic and Paralympic sport that will go down in history," he said. Nuzman also highlighted the social outcome of the Games, as measured by popular participation. "During a single weekend, the Olympic Park received 170,000 visitors. There has never been that great an engagement in the history of the Games," he celebrated.

The president of the International Paralympic Committee, Philip Craven, also acknowledged the success of the mega event and noted that these were the "Games of the people". According to him, the link between the Paralympic spirit and the local population was present everywhere. "We have an extraordinary number of athletes, with records and performances that are an impressive testament of the development of Paralympic sport. I am impressed with the preparation of the national [Paralympic] committees," he said.


Athletes and visitors from all nations were in Brazil for the Games, with the United States providing the main source of tourists (18.2%). It was followed in that ranking by Spain (15.5%), Argentina (6.1%), France (6.1%) and Germany (5.4%). In total, 1.17 million tourists were in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics. While in Rio, they spent an average R$ 424.60 per day. The Paralympics received 243,000 tourists, who left nearly R$ 410 million in the city.

Casa Brasil. Photos: Paulino Menezes e Diego Campos/Casa Brasil

Casa Brasil

Brazil's national hospitality house, Casa Brasil, was another resounding success. The two buildings set up at the Olympic Boulevard received a total 558,200 people, who had the opportunity to learn more about the culture and diversity of the country. Casa Brasil hit its record attendance on its last day: a whopping 31,833 visitors. The mark far surpassed the expectations of the organisers, who expected to receive an average of 10,000 visitors per day during the week and 15,000 at weekends and on holidays.

Source: Brazilgovnews