Has the Rio Olympics been a winner for tourism to Brazil
There was the fear of the Zika virus, concern about the high crime rate and the political, economic and social problems which plagued Rio specifically and Brazil generally in the lead up to the games. There was also concern over the ability of Brazil to meet the security challenges of the Games. In this respect there were problems with some of the 85,000 security staff undertaking duties for which they had been unpaid. However, the 2016 Olympics is most likely to remembered for the incredible feats of two of sport‚Äôs greatest legends. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt completed the triple triple (3 gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4X100 metres relay at three consecutive Olympics) and the achievements of US swimming superstar Michael Phelps who boosted his Olympic medal tally to 28 (22 of which were gold) making him by far the most successful athlete in any sport in Olympic history.
This Olympics had its share of unsavoury incidents with athletes, spectators and media crews being robbed by Rio‚Äôs opportunistic criminals. There were the usual stories of a few athletes behaving badly. US swimmer Ryan Lochte was the clear winner of the gold medal for stupidity and immaturity by claiming to have been robbed when in fact he and his ‚Äúfriends ‚Äù were vandalising a toilet in a service station. Drug cheating has been under attack at Rio but still persists among some athletes and sporting officials. However the good news for Rio and Brazil and for tourism was that the Rio games, for all their problems were a success. Billions of people around the world have witnessed the beauty of this city and its spectacular harbour, landmarks, beaches and cafes. Brazil can claim a success in having hosted the world‚Äôs two greatest events, the World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics. Both events were plagued with problems but Brazil deserves credit for having pulled it off. The games have enhanced Rio‚Äôs record and reputation as a host city for any event. It has also showcased Rio de Janeiro and Brazil as a must visit international destination. Hosting the Olympics is always a risk for the host destination. It‚Äôs attributes and its problems are subject to an unprecedented level of scrutiny for traditional media and social media. Brazil has endured some difficult economic times over the past few years due to the collapse in commodity prices. However, tourism could well be the centre piece of an economic recovery for Brazil. If so it must be hoped that this can be accomplished in a sustainable fashion which benefits all sectors of Brazil‚Äôs community.