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Govt looks for ways to facilitate entry of tourists for Olympics

O ministro do Turismo, Vinicius Lages, participa do programa Bom Dia, Ministro para fala sobre o aumento do fluxo de turistas durante a Copa do Mundo (Elza Fiúza/Agência Brasil)

Minister Vinícius Lages. (Elza Fiúza/Agência Brasil)

As a way to make it easier for foreigners to enter the country, the Ministry of Tourism is considering the

creation of a special olympic passport, which would reduce the number of requirements professionals and tourists should meet. The aim is to raise the number of visitors in the coming year, when Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympic Games.

“Any difficulty faced by tourists on their trip makes their experience more uncomfortable. The idea is to establish anticipate [issues], as was the case with the World Cup, [and provide] easy ways for professionals and tourists to have their visa issued. That’s the idea behind the olympic passport,” said Minister Vinícius Lages.

The nations primarily targeted are those with the most tourists, chief among which the US. “The US are one of the main markets. And the Olympic Games are of much concern to this public. Of course, we won’t leave the other countries aside.” Lages noted that only 50 thousand of the 100 million Chinese tourists traveling across the world in 2014 visited Brazil.

Another project under analysis is the establishment in 2016 of the Brazilian Olympic Year, in a bid to encourage tourists interested in coming to the South American country before or after the event takes place.

Also, during the Olympics, the Ministry plans to motivate foreigners to visit other regions in Brazil through the creation of the Brazil Pass, which would give tourists discounts in flight tickets and lodging in other cities.

The Ministry estimates that the games will attract 350 to 500 thousand tourists to the country. By 2016, the number of visitors is expected to reach 6.5 million a year, “without doing more than what’s been done at the moment”, the minister remarked.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

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