Brazil emerges victorious as World Cup host nation


By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

They may not have been crowned world champions on the pitch but Brazil, hosts of this year’s momentous FIFA World Cup 2014, have come out as victorious in a wealth of other ways.

Have a look at these fantastic statistics;

•Over 1 million foreign tourists visited Brazil for the FIFA 2014 World Cup

•Resulting in a USD$13.5 billion boost to Brazilian economy (FIPE)

•Host city Natal saw 851% in tourist spending during the World Cup (Visa Everywhere Travel Report)

As the final match that pitched Argentina against Germany reached a much-talked about climax, eventually seeing the Germans lift the trophy in Rio de Janeiro, figures were already emerging that showed the immediate impact of the tournament on the host country. The Brazilian government swiftly revealed that over 1 million foreign tourists visited the country throughout the month of the World Cup from 203 different countries, a figure that smashed the predicted 600,000 visitors, by an additional 67%.

Not only buoyed by these figures, highlighted even more positively when compared to the mere 310,000 foreign tourists that visited South Africa during their hosted games in 2010, Brazil’s government also showed that over 60% of these were first-time visitors to Brazil. This spells positive news for the future of Brazilian tourism, opening the South American country up to a whole new global audience, and revealing the many facets it has to offer, from warm hospitality and breath-taking beaches to a rich and colourful culture, which is sure to draw people back time and time again.

These healthy tourism figures also translated into a solid financial impact for Brazil too, with the Economic Research Institute Foundation (FIPE), commissioned by Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism, showing an additional USD$13.5 billion boost to the country’s economic coffers.

The ‘Visa Everywhere Travel Report’ for the World Cup also revealed a 152% increase in spending, year-on-year, with international travellers spending US$188 million on their Visa accounts during the Group Stages, 141% more than that spent during the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. Interestingly, visitors from the Middle East were recorded as spending $2.7 million, 419% more than that of the previous year, even given the fact that they had no team representation in the tournament.

Another interesting financial result from the tournament is the effect on some of the smaller host cities with Natal, in Rio Grande do Norte state, being one such winner. The ‘City of the Sun’ saw an outstanding increase of 851% in tourist spending during the World Cup, according to the Visa Everywhere Travel Report, marking the city as one to watch for future tourism and growth.

Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Manager of leading Brazilian property developer Ritz Property, who have a diverse portfolio of high quality commercial and residential property projects in Natal, recognises the positive impact of the World Cup, especially on Natal. He comments,

“I was always confident that the World Cup would do amazing things for Brazil as a country but the results that are beginning to emerge of the true impact of the tournament are even more eye-opening. With so much to offer visitors and investors alike, it is fantastic to see this wonderful South American country taking its much-deserved place in the global spotlight. And with the 2016 Olympics being hosted in Rio de Janeiro too, the future can only get brighter still.

“Natal offers a great deal to the switched-on investor – 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, top tourist spots, affordable property options, and a growing real estate market that offers excellent potential return on investment. Now is definitely the time to consider Natal.”

One example of a shrewd investment option for Natal is Costa Azul in the exclusive neighbourhood of Petrópolis, currently being developed by Ritz Property.

The impact of the World Cup was not only practical, it also extended to a more personal level. More people were talking about the tournament via social media than ever before, with Facebook revealing that it generated 1 billion posts over the course of the first half of the tournament and the final match setting a new Twitter record with 618,725 tweets per minute.

Within Brazilian society, it has been predicted that the psychological impact has also been extremely positive, with a University of Florida project drawing comparisons with their assessment of the 2010 South Africa World Cup which showed the creation of a sense of great community cohesion in relation to the event, high beforehand and even higher still following the successful tournament.

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