Tourism booming in Rio de Janeiro

AP News
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Posted: Jan 08, 2012 9:18 AM
Tourism booming in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro officials say the city is seeing a boom in tourism.

The municipal tourism department known as Riotur says the city expects to receive 3 million more visitors this summer than last summer. That's a 12.4 percent increase projected for the south-of-the-equator summer months of January, February and March.

Riotur officials said last week the greater number of visitors will also spend $2.2 billion this summer, compared to $1.9 billion last summer.

Businesses are benefiting from the boom. Dance clubs in popular neighborhoods such as Lapa are packed every night. The city of Rio's branch of the Brazilian Association of Hotels is predicting 90 percent hotel occupancy through March.

For visitors, this means crowded beaches and lines at attractions such as the Christ the Redeemer statue.