With less than a year to go until the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, the first summer games to be held in South America, it has been revealed that the Olympic torch route will take in the city of Natal in Rio Grande do Norte.
Having been firmly placed on the international stage due to its hosting of four matches as part of last year’s FIFA World Cup, Natal’s role in the torch relay is expected to cement its place in the global tourist industry.
Luiz Fernandes, CEO of award-winning developer Ritz-G5, whose projects are focused in Natal, comments: “During the 2014 FIFA World Cup we certainly noticed a marked growth in the number of visitors to Natal, our home city. As one of the host cities for the matches, Natal was extremely busy with many foreign and domestic tourists alike watching the thrilling games as well as enjoying all the attractions on offer.
“We are very pleased with how encouraging the increase in foreign arrivals has been since then too, a very positive impact of the major sporting event, and this has also resulted in a rise in the number of enquiries we have seen for Natal real estate.”
Brazil’s government anticipates welcoming more than half a million foreign tourists throughout the duration of the 2016 Olympic Games and are currently working on initiatives to enable easier access, such as suspending the mandatory visa requirements.
Starting in May 2016 in Brasilia, the Olympic torch will traverse around 300 cities and towns across 26 states Brazilian states, covering 12,430 miles by road and 10,000 miles by air throughout northern and mid-western reaches. Approximately 12,000 specially-selected torchbearers will have the honour of each carrying the torch for 300 metres.
The flame’s epic journey will culminate in its arrival at Rio de Janiero’s famous Maracana stadium on 5thAugust 2016, ready for the opening ceremony.