Study: Rio+20 Attendees Say Brazil is Ready to Host 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympics

A survey conducted by the Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur) during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development finds that more than 80 percent of delegates and journalists who attended the summit believe Brazil is or will be prepared to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Presented by the president of the Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur), Flávio Dino, in Brasilia earlier this month, the survey titled “Perception of Foreigners in Brazil During Rio+20," was conducted during the conference in Rio de Janeiro on June 20 – 21.

Roughly 228 people were interviewed, including delegates and foreign journalists from 42 countries. Among them were Brazil’s primary markets including tourists from South America, North America and Europe. The research sought to gather traveler insights on attractions and tourism offerings with the goal of defining the strengths and challenges that remain as the country prepares to set the stage for global events.

"The survey results show that Brazil’s natural beauty, personality and hospitality are most striking for Rio+20 participants,” said Dino in a written release. “In regards to tourism infrastructure, an overwhelming number of foreign visitors believe the country is on track with its preparations for the upcoming events and over 97 percent of respondents stated they wish to return.”

Of the findings, 68 percent of journalists and delegates believe their visit either met or exceeded expectations, with 59 percent agreeing their image of Brazil had improved after the visit. The items negatively evaluated were related to costs, difficulties with language and traffic, the latter having achieved the worst rating: 81 percent judged as poor or very poor.

According to Embratur, the research shows that the preparations for the future events is on the right track, although there are some matters that need attention. "

"Brazil has a positive agenda ahead, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the image of the country that will remain after these events will be one of our main legacies to the world," Dino said.

Also boding well for Brazil is the recent news that Rio de Janeiro has been named a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the category of Urban Cultural Landscape. Rio de Janeiro is the first city to win the title in this category, as in previous years sites were recognized in rural areas, traditional farming systems, historic gardens and places of symbolic, religious and emotional nature. The milestone marks Brazil’s 19th attraction recognized by UNESCO.