Embratur, Brazil’s national tourist office, reports that the economic benefits of the Confederations Cup (soccer) and the Papal Visit have been substantial. In less than two months, Brazil served as host to two international events that exceed previous projections, generating almost $1 billion or 2 billion Reais, Embratur said.
This includes the 16 games of the 2013 Confederations Cup and World Youth Day (the first international visit of Pope Francis).
The Washington Post reported that a final mass during the World Youth Day celebrations was attended by 3 million.
Embratur says hotels, restaurants and other travel and hospitality providers have benefited and the final number is expected to increase, as World Youth Day has just concluded and the overall revenue has yet to be calculated.
"We're talking about direct and indirect impact. Our evaluation shows that in a short period, as a result of these two major events, the country will have a payback of about U.S. $1 Billion," says Flçvio Dino, president of Embratur.
World Youth Day organizers believe that this event generated about 20,000 jobs. The last World Youth Day, held in Madrid, generated approximately U.S. $480 million for the Spanish economy, Embratour says.
"The overall economic gain is immeasurable due to the exposure from the games and the Pope's visit," Dino says. "With this, we will naturally increase the number of foreigners who come to Brazil, stimulating our economy and creating jobs across the country."
Last year, Brazil says it received 5.7 million foreigners. "This year, I am convinced that for the first time in the history of Brazil, we will reach a record of 6 million foreign tourists, " Dino said.
Next year Brazil will host two of the worlds largest sporting events - the World Cup 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016.