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Rio de Janeiro visitor numbers reach five-year high

Rio de Janeiro visitor numbers reach five-year high
17 May 2011

The number of international travellers visiting the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2010 reached its highest level in five years, the Brazilian Tourism Board has revealed.

Overall, some 1.61m foreign visitors arrived in the destination last year, marking an increase of 8% on the 1.49m recorded in 2009.

Tourism plays an important part in the local economy, generating revenue of more than £1.2bn last year.

RioTur, the city's tourist board, is expecting visitor numbers to be even higher this year, partly as a result of the destination's famous carnival, which welcomed 131% more international guests than expected in March.

Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, president of RioTur, said: 'We expect a further 300,000 tourists for the Rock in Rio festival alone.

'We're hosting a growing number of large-scale events which are attracting even more tourists and Rio's profile abroad is constantly growing.'

Travellers can catch flights to Rio de Janeiro with British Airways and other carriers to see famous landmarks such as the giant statue of Jesus Christ that towers over the city.

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