| RIO DE JANEIRO – The 2012 Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro attracted a record number of tourists to the city. According to Riotur, 1.114 million visitors passed through the city between February 13th and the 26th, which includes the bulk of the celebrations. Of the total, 32% were foreigners.
According to the agency, the revenue generated during the Carnaval season amounted to R$1.4 billion reals (about $850 million USD). In 2011, the number of visitors was around one million and the revenue was R$1.2 billion reals (about $740 million USD – at last years exchange rate).
Riotur also says that just over half (51%) of visitors stayed with relatives or friends. Another 21% stayed in hotels, 11% in hostels, and 17% in rented houses or apartments.
Even with only 21% staying in hotels, the occupancy rate in the city was 95%. The highest occupancy rate of 99.1% was in the center of the city. Then, with 98.6% came less trendy – and less expensive – neighborhoods in the South Zone, such as Botafogo, Flamengo and Catete.
In the most desirable areas, such as Ipanema and Copacabana, the occupancy rate did not exceed 94.4%. The absolute number of tourists in less traditional neighborhoods, however, tends to be lower, because there are fewer hotels in those areas.
The RJ-ABIH (Brazilian Association of Hotels-Rio de Janeiro) says that there are 23,000 hotel rooms in the city, mostly in Copacabana and Ipanema.
The vice-president of the organization, Paulo Michel, told Folha that, due to the international financial crisis, there was a greater presence of Brazilian tourists. Also, the expansion of the street carnaval in Rio this year – with 425 blocos parading through the city, drew 5.3 million revelers (9.7% more than in 2011).
Source(s) for this article: Folha de S. Paulo