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17 Jul, 2014

After World Cup, more Chinese set to travel to Brazil

By Su Zhou

BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhuanet) — Charmed by the recently ended World Cup and the coming Olympic Games in 2016 in Brazil, more Chinese tourists are interested in visiting the South American nation.

According to the Brazilian embassy in Beijing, more than 5,000 Chinese tourists traveled to Brazil during the World Cup.

“The real total is probably even bigger,” said Guiherme Belli, the World Cup affairs specialist from the embassy. “The World Cup was a perfect chance for Chinese tourists to get to know Brazil. The tournament will attract more tourists to Brazil in the future.”

He said the pull and popularity of the tournament will soon boost the number of Chinese tourists to Brazil to 100,000 a year. In 2012, 65,000 Chinese nationals visited the country.

Because of high cost and the length of flights from China to Brazil, the country is not an ideal destination for Chinese tourists yet. Despite the inflated costs to fly to Brazil during the World Cup, many Chinese tourists traveled more than 30 hours to enjoy the fun.

Lvmama, an online travel agency in Shanghai, arranged trips for more than 1,500 Chinese tourists during the tournament. Costs shot up by about 30 to 50 percent during the tournament, the agency said.

“Brazil was not a popular tourism destination. We only had dozens of tourists when we launched outbound trips to Brazil two years ago. But during the tournament, we had more than 2,500 people that asked for information about Brazil,” said Zhang Yunan, product director at Lvmama.

HHtravel.com, the high-end subsidiary of Ctrip.com International, also saw a rapid rise in tourist interest.

During the tournament, HHtravel provided two travel packages that cost 395,000 yuan ($63,200) and 495,000 yuan. Both prices were two to five times more than the original prices.

Despite the high cost, the number of people asking about trips doubled during the tournament.

Travel agencies said the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Brazil will steadily grow in the next three to five months.

“Brazil is not only famous for the World Cup. The country also has great tourism resources, such as the Amazon rain forest,” said Zhang from Lvmama.

(Source: chinadaily.com.cn)