With the World Cup kicking off (no pun intended) any minute, our attention is firmly focused on the 2014 host nation, Brazil!
Whilst football lovers all over the world rejoice at the prospect of a month glued to the TV enjoying ‘the great game’, the rest of us have turned our attention to Brazil for a different reason – it’s new found status at the travel destination du jour.
Obviously Rio de Janerio, and in particular the annual carnival, has always been a popular spot on many people’s South American to-do lists however, it appears that the Brazilian tourism board has been in PR overdrive over the past year, working to entice a whole new calibre of tourist and opening the sprawling and diverse country up to the masses.
From a personal perspective, I have lost count of how many people I know who have booked a trip to the country in recent months. Prior to 2013 I could list on one hand (possibly one finger) how many people I knew who had paid a visit. Fast forward 18 months and all of a sudden, what seems like, my entire Facebook friends list is flocking to the Latin American destination. Friends of mine are heading over for weddings, fashion shoots and holidays of a lifetime…. with one lucky friend even winning an Adidas competition to spend 10 days in the country.
This rise in popularity is a prime example of the power that placing a country on a global stage, such as the World Cup, has on all aspects of their economy. However, Brazil should be warned that the effects of this global fever can unfortunately be short lived – as South Africa discovered after hosting the 2010 tournament.
In today’s ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ society we are always looking for the next IT destination and are eager to one-up our friends when it comes to traveling to exotic locations. With the 2016 Olympics also due to be hosted by the nation, Brazil may enjoy the economic buzz longer than most however, it will be interesting to see how they manage to sustain the tourism hype in the intervening period.
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