- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
Brazil wants to improve services for WCup tourists
Question of the Day
SAO PAULO (AP) - The Brazilian government wants to improve services for the nearly 600,000 international visitors and 3 million local tourists expected at next year’s World Cup.
“How we welcome these tourists will determine the image that they will take away from the country,” tourism ministry official Izabel Barnasque said in a statement.
A committee that includes officials from several parts of the government has been meeting regularly to discuss ways to better accommodate the visitors.
Some measures have already been agreed upon, including the creation and renovation of more than 100 information booths to attend to tourists in the 12 host cities.
The government’s efforts come in addition to its ongoing fight to control hotel rates and the price of plane tickets during the tournament.
Home to Carnival, pristine beaches and the Amazon rain forest, Brazil is used to tourists all year, but the World Cup will attract an unprecedented number of worldwide visitors. FIFA said fans from more than 200 countries have applied for tickets for a monthlong tournament that begins next June. After Brazilians, most of the ticket requests came from Americans, Argentines and Germans.
The government that’s studying ways to improve the quality of services for tourists has already met in Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo and Brasilia. It is expected to meet in all other host cities by the end of the year, when it will report its findings to the government. The group is also using the visits to monitor the quality of services available in the cities.
After a meeting in Brasilia on Thursday, the tourism ministry said it is investing about $16 million in the 105 new tourist centers.
The ministry also said Brazil’s health surveillance agency and the country’s association of bars and restaurants will work to categorize the establishments based on sanitary conditions. The restaurants are being instructed to translate menus into different languages.
Also Thursday, the government met with airline industry officials to discuss new routes because of greater passenger demand during the World Cup. The routes are expected to be completed in January. As of now, there aren’t direct flights between many of the World Cup host cities.
The government last month created a committee to monitor hotel and airline ticket price hikes. The action comes after complaints by consumer advocates and amid reports of huge price increases during the tournament.
Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq