26 Nov 2013

Brazil Preparing for the 2014 World Cup

Brazil shows the world what it’s got

Brazil is going all out to convert World Cup and Olympic interest into tourism dollars, or should that be reais.

In an effort to showcase what Brazil has to offer, Brazilian Tourist Board Embratur has targeted social media across seven countries to launch a new advertising campaign.

The timing is clearly planned to capitalise on the attention directed at Brazil due to the impending 2014 FIFA World Cup, which takes place over 30 days and across 12 cities. It will also act as a timely reminder that the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is also not far away.

Around $10m in investment is set to be directed at the campaign this year. Countries including the UK, the US, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Chile will receive the ad, which creates the impression that preparations for an extravagant party are under way.

The start of the World Cup on June 12 next summer is expected to attract around 600,000 fans and tourists to the country, creating a massive boost for the Brazilian economy. Tourism in the South American giant generates nearly 3% of the country’s total GDP.

The president of tourist agency Embratur, Flávio Dino, says: “The World Cup is a great opportunity for Brazil to show off its wonderful natural resources, its vibrant cities and, it has to be said, its excellent football. The tourism industry generates almost 3% of GDP and employs almost 10 million people, who will be directly affected by the event.”

But the decision to host the games has not gone down well in some quarters. Protesters against the games cite the country’s problems with health and education, arguing those sectors are more deserving of the millions already spent on improving Brazil’s infrastructure ready for the World Cup.

Civil unrest saw protesters initially take to the streets over the announcement of a rise in public transport costs. However, the unrest escalated as protesters turned their anger towards alleged political corruption and the underfunding of essential services in the face of multimillion-pound investment directed at the two huge sporting events.

Protesters have appropriated the slogans of several big-name advertising campaign to make their point. A number of placards have been spotted with the words “vem para a rua” written on them. This translates to “come to the street” and is the strapline for a Fiat ad campaign currently running in the country.

Johnnie Walker’s “o gigante acordou” slogan, which means “the giant is no longer asleep” has also been associated with the protests. Originally referring to the burgeoning economic power of Brazil, it has come to symbolise disquiet felt among the poor and dispossessed of the world’s fifth most populace nation.

Despite the vast amounts of money being spent of the World Cup project, there are concerns from some quarters that crucial infrastructure will not be ready in time for the competition.

World football’s governing body Fifa has set an end-of-year deadline for the completion on stadiums currently under construction. However, several are well  under schedule. The BBC has reported that officials in host city, Cuiaba, have said that as well as being unable to finish the stadium on time, there will not be enough hotel rooms to accommodate visiting fans.


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