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Rio De Janeiro Host The Summer 2016 Olympic Games Tourism Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Tourism
Wordcount: 3735 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil, the third largest urban area in South America and the main tourist destination in the Southern Hemisphere, being the first South American city to ever host the event is a great responsibility. The population of the city of Rio de Janeiro, which has an area of 1,182.3 square kilometers, is about 6,100,000. The population of the greater metropolitan area is estimated at 11 to 13.5 million. It was Brazil’s capital until 1960. In 2009, Rio was elected to host the summer 2016 Olympic Games, winning the election against Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. The sports competitions will take place on Barra da Tijuca situated on the west side of the city, Copacabana on the south zone, and Maracanã and Deodoro on the north side. It may be considered a great accomplishment for the city, however some may disagree that Rio de Janeiro is not fit and does not have financial and secure conditions to be the main focus of the world in 2016. This essay might be of great interest to the people living in Rio and sports fan all around the world planning on watching the Olympic Games, as it describes mainly the city’s geography to host the games. Also this topic might be of interest to people that question if Rio can successfully host such a big event without any casualties and will the city in general benefit from being the center of attention worldwide. The topic is also important for the city which has started planning and making budgets, looking forward for being a successful host, a great amount of money must be invested in long term repair in stadiums and general sports facilities as well as security. Brazilian people are also known for having a great passion for sports and there was a big celebration when Rio was announced to host the games as people want to show the world that Rio is capable of holding such an important event. Controversies regarding Rio being the host for the Olympic Games arise as the city is constantly regarded as un-safe due to the high rates of criminalities and drug dealing taking place in the “favelas” or shanty towns. It is also worth writing about how Rio can benefit from all this development and planning as well as tourism generated from the Olympic Games as other controversies state that the money spent in investment for hosting should be instead invested in education and the economy of the city for further development. The topic will be more focused on how will the city invest on long term plans and solutions to problems, how will the event be evenly distributed through Rio and how will it be good for Rio in the future. Rio de Janeiro may be considered then most “challenging” city to judge and make a prediction if it has the capacity of hosting the biggest sports event in the world. Barcelona, Sydney, Vancouver, and London are considered to be more developed as they are located in More Economically Developed Countries and have more developed infrastructure as well as taking efficient anti-terrorism methods.

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Although the city is considered a great tourism tropical destination, studies reveal that the city lacks infra-structure, educational means and is affected by great poverty with a large number of the population living in slums. Due to these facts, a part of the population demanded the money to be invested in those means helping the city develop, instead of building sports facilities. It is also estimated that by 2016, the whole nation is capable of eradicating extreme poverty, however for this to happen Brazil must maintain its developing process shown in the last five years. Counter claims may argue that the Olympic Games will bring an excessive amount of profit due to tourism and sponsoring as well as jobs being generated (the city also show significant amounts of unemployment). The government however states that all security and geographical issues were presented to the Olympic committee and was approved almost unanimously, being confident in the long term plans as seven years of preparation seem enough. Another research, states that Rio will manage to achieve a target made by the UN that states must decrease levels in poverty by 50%. There is a lot of statistical data that implies that Rio de Janeiro will manage to achieve sustainable levels of economy, and poverty by the end of 2016, however measures must be taken and the process of development shown in past years must be maintained. 50% of the events will take place on Barra da Tijuca, which is a developed area, with less poverty and almost no slums as well as a wide space and facilities built from the Pan-American games. The transport system is also well developed with a network of trains, buses and subways linked to other sides of Rio where other events are going to take place. Promises were made to the Olympic committee that the Guanabara Bay and Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon will be cleaned sp water sports can be held. A bullet train linking Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo was also presented to the committee which will play a big role in the transport system if introduced before the Olympic games.

Recent researches and statistics show that there are more than one thousand favelas spread through out the city with the majority of them being located on the north side (Zona Norte). Also a statistical map indicates that 20 to 30% of the population living in Brazil, live in a slum. This can be significant data while analyzing the city for hosting the games as each slum is dominated by drug dealers and criminality and safety around them can become an issue for the development of Rio until 2016. For the development to be maintained, the city must invest in a crucial factor which is safety. Safety is considered weak in almost every event held although casualties regarding them are rare. For the games to be hosted in the north zone of the city for example, which is considered to be one of the highest rates of criminality in the world due to drug dealing and poverty, long term measures must be taken. An example of long term plan by the government which already started to be implemented in 2009 is the UPP (Unidade de Policia Pacificadora) is a unit of the military and civil police designated to eradicate and exterminate drugs and arms. The UPP have been very successful just recently where a total of eight slums have already been pacified and are controlled by the government. The police which also have a history of corruption within the state, trading with dealers have been mobilized to end illegal dealings in the slums, with the intention of offering more safety by 2016. This method seems like the most appropriate measure in increasing the security issues of the city, and if it continues to develop and spread throughout the city a significant increase in safety will be applied to the event. The UPP would greatly help the city in the developing process for hosting the Olympic Games as studies made reveal that if every slum in the city is occupied by the government, an increase in 20% of the PIB (sum of financial production) which would represent 38 billions reais for the development of the city as well as an decrease of about 80% of criminality. This is the most efficient method of violence contingency shown and is the key for offering security during the Olympics, however it is a very hard task and taking into consideration past government activities, it will take probably more than seven years for it to be implemented with success. In almost one year that the UPPs were implemented a huge profit and efficiency was achieved with a significant decrease in violence in the surroundings, so in seven years of preparation for the Olympic Games, the governor of Rio Sergio Cabral guarantees that the project will continue. However the government must not forget a big threat to security of Olympic Games, which is international terrorism. Therefore a certain amount of training is necessary and constant monitoring.

Looking at the recent past, Rio de Janeiro has hosted an important event similar to the Olympic Games which was the Rio 2007 Pan-American games, and no problems were faced. The money was well invested and the games were a success by generating jobs ad tourist attractions. However the Olympic Games are a much bigger event with a wider variety of activities therefore more space and planning must be taken into consideration. On the contrary of some people may think, the developing process to host the games can bring even more benefit and help the city show a significant growth internationally, as even more jobs can be generated as well as tourism. However, Rio currently really needs investment in security and education, so how can it benefit by hosting the games? Firstly, the Olympic Games further increase the world’s awareness of the city. In Beijing, China, for example the number of headquarters for multi-national companies and large-scale domestic enterprises has multiplied ever since Beijing started its Olympic preparations. The preparations for the Olympic Games can also help update the functions of the city such as environment, transportation and infrastructure. Taking Beijing as an example, the Olympic introductory work will also ease the city’s economic growth. Beijing’s GDP rose to 102.6 billion dollars in 2006, twice as much as in 2001, as its GDP per capita exceeded 6300 dollars, also twice as much as in 2001. With this significant increase in the economy of the city, the number of tourists in Rio which is already very big may increase by more than 1.5 million. Another good past example, in the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the benefits have been projected to be $10 billion. Another fact which can cause a great impact against Rio for hosting the game is the fact that the city is one of the 12 chosen to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and is considered to be “not in the right path” by the FIFA. Brazilian venues are falling behind schedules and little work has been carried out in the last 25 months after the announcement, constructions and general repairs are late. Inspections have been held and it is proven that Rio along with other cities has not met the deadlines of repairing stadium which are the main attraction of the World Cup. Upgrades in the main stadium are yet to start and are still lingering, which sounded an alert to the FIFA that Brazil is already late. Rio has managed to successfully host a World Cup in 1950 although conditions and requirements were less strict, and maybe with all these upgrades, constructions, jobs and increase in security for 2014, some of it may in fact be useful for the Olympics two years later. The city will gain infra-structure and general increase in security and sports facilities with the world cup in 2014.

Generally, not only in the case of Rio, revenue is generated for national companies, the image of the city worldwide is improved and the flow of tourism is improved. But accelerated growth necessary in hosting the Olympic Games disrupts the long term town preparation of the city and cause long term negative effect. On the other side there are the costs for developing facilities necessary to host different sports, as well as the financing for the “Olympic village” were the athletes must stay, with a significant amount of money being invested in transportation and security. However if the money is invested in schools, hospitals or other public, employment could still be created, sometimes even more and are considered permanent institutions. After the Olympic Games, sports facilities will have obviously less value will be less used and not so significant in helping the city and economy to develop. The employment and part of the benefit brought by the Olympic Games may be considered rather temporary as well as few significant long term growths linked with the games. Although there is a temporary boost in the output of the economy, in the long term there is barely some change. Therefore these “temporary” and necessary changes to host the Olympic games, can be of great use long term for example security. As the city invest on security and decreasing levels of criminality for the games, it helps to exterminate an old problem of the city which is the criminality. There are counter claims for this argument as all these improvements for changes including the UPPs are temporary and monitoring may decrease shortly after the Olympic Games. In the end, the money spent by tourists during the games might not be sufficient to cover all costs even if they bring benefit to the city. Especially Rio needs to invest in public institutions and education, more than Vancouver and Sydney for example. Although there are major problems and uncertainties a list of benefits can be made such as: with world class facilities built future events may be held, new construction project generating jobs, spectators, sponsors and broadcasting make the city “the center of attention worldwide”, powerful “marketing tool”, increase reputation resulting in a long term benefit for economy, international recognition and etc. The country itself still needs to study how to do permanent public policies as no strategic planning happened in the Pan-American games. In the case of Rio, which still faces cases of prejudice and stereotype against low class civilians, jobs being generated can really fix an old problem in which people living in shanty towns face unsuitable living conditions, no access to sewage disposal and clean drinkable water with high levels of crimes, unemployment and low incomes.

Just recently, a very serious case of flooding took place in Rio. A natural disaster is a rare however alarming event in which developed cities are supposed to be prepared for. Rio de Janeiro is expected to cope with any sort of situation; however in April 2010 the city faced the biggest flood in the history of Rio with an astonishing 288mm of precipitation in less than twenty four hours. A total of 95 people were confirmed dead mainly as a result of land slide and, of course, became news headline worldwide. It became clear that Rio did not support an appropriate infra-structure and was not prepared for such a disaster. The poverty surrounding the city was also highlighted as land slides in shanty towns killed and injured dozen of people, as well as interrupting several activities during two whole days. The government however states that it is impossible to maintain a controlled situation with such a huge amount of precipitation which was never seen before and especially when Rio is still going through a big process of development. International repercussion is common as it is clearly a matter of safety, and the spectators and athletes waiting so long and traveling so far for such an important event wants safety. Methods of future flood prevention are being studied, such as the creation of flood plains, winding streams and levees. Each method can contain drawbacks and a huge amount of effort however a good way to prevent future accidents.

Rio’s Demographic transition model can be seen above with the central business district in the middle and a large area of “Favelas” in the surroundings. It is clearly not balanced and the games will be held around the CBD with a few exceptions through “B”. Below an urban morphology and characteristics map of Rio de Janeiro can be seen as the higher class districts and CBD is concentrated near the coastline with the suburbs in the rural area.

As a conclusion, Rio de Janeiro has the conditions to host the summer Olympic Games with success, however it may not bring the expected amount of benefit. Seven years of planning and introducing extreme measures to overcome major problems in the city will not be a problem. Significant increase and development regarding security, and economical growth in Rio de Janeiro has been shown in recent studies. Just recently Rio has hosted a big sports event which was the Pan-American games with great success and no casualties bringing even some benefit. The population in general has been very excited with the decision of the city for the host as it is already a tourist destination and improvement for the games will help the city in the future. However Brazilians in general shows great passion towards sports mainly soccer and shows great enthusiasm and cooperation when the result for Rio being the host was announced, and as a result can forget about some major issues the city need to take care of as a part of its development before making such a big investment for an event such as the Olympic games. In order for a conclusion to be made the goals for the city must be analyzed first. So, is it good for the city to organize the Olympic games? For example Vancouver and London which are already considered developed and share a good outside image, having few ambitions and determination for growth may not achieve such a great improvement in their image and economy, and sports facilities and changes might be made redundant. However cities in development like Rio and Beijing may have the ambition of showing their development and improving their image and showing the world they are competitors to host other future events. Even internationally, it is questioned if Rio can host the Olympic Games, due to security reasons as one week after the announcement, fourteen people were killed and a chopper was shot down on a operation in a favela. However there is the argument that Brazil is not affected by terrorism, like London for example. For a successful prediction to be made if Rio can host the Olympic Games, the past major event hosted must be analyzed, which is the Pan-American games in 2007. The same argument that was used in the Pan-American games were used to convince the Olympic committee, that it was Brazil’s turn to show what is it capable of, one of the 10th largest economy in the world and a population that have and indefinite passion for sports. The aftermath of the Pan-American games did not quite show any transformation into a more modern, international and safer city. Promises were also made in 2007 that criminality would decrease, a new road system (“via light”) and 55km of subway lines would be introduced as well as cleaning up the Lagoon located in the centre of the city and finally the Guanabara Bay, whose smell assails visitors driving into town from the international airport. Although hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, the unpleasant smell persists and the bay remains a foul-smelling spot on the landscape. Chico Alencar, a respected Congressman from Rio and also a researcher for the enormous overspending at the Pan-American games revealed that the games ended up costing much more than the original estimate (about 180 million US dollars) and none of it was used to built the promised infrastructure projects. After the Pan-American games, the city came back to its original “mess” although a four week celebration was given to the people and athletes, and the same problems faced back in 2007 might be the same in 2016 but the sports event is even bigger. Therefore there is a tendency that Rio will spend even more money on this bigger event, maybe halting the development of other areas in need. Brazil in general needs to learn from its past mistakes and areas of society must unite for no overspending. Finally, other questions rises when analyzing if Rio can host the Summer Olympic Games and can it benefit from it such as: Can Rio learn from past mistakes (Pan-American games)? Can the city keep its promises for development? Will the infrastructure provided be sufficient for hosting such a big international event? Will current issues such as security be a problem and can the city overcome it? These questions are still left unanswered, but Rio has been given a chance to prove critics wrong after an almost unanimous decision against more developed cities.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1926094,00.html#ixzz0k9Ts0zcY

http://geographylost.blogspot.com/2007/03/rio-de-janeiro-wish-i-had-found-this.html DTM maps




http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficheiro:Urban_population_living_in_slums.svg fatos e figures de favela


Índice de Pobreza pode ser erradicado do Brasil em 2016

http://www.ipea.gov.br/sites/000/2/comunicado_presidencia/100112Comunicado38.pdf – prediction brazil 2016 vai acabar pobreza

http://mercadoetico.terra.com.br/website/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/grafico1.gif – meta onu


VEJA RIO magazine – “Operação Favela Livre”

http://en.beijing2008.cn/news/official/preparation/n214180326.shtml pequim

http://minimaxblog.com/2010/03/costs-and-benefits-of-hosting-the-olympic-games/ costs benefits


list of benefits


http://oglobo.globo.com/rio/mat/2010/04/06/rio-vive-pior-enchente-da-historia-916261532.asp flood

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/teams/brazil/7686639/World-Cup-2014-Fifa-sound-alarm-as-Brazilian-venues-fall-behind-schedule.html world cup


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