The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ is well underway. Are you attending this year’s World Cup in Brazil? Or are you a business traveler worried about traveling through Brazil during this busy time? The tournament, which runs from June 12 to July 13, is expected to bring 600,000 visitors to Brazil and is taking place in 12 cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo. The cities hosting matches have taken extra safety precautions to ensure that visitors enjoy their trip. Our fellow Radius Travel member Maringa Turismo shared important information for business travelers headed to Brazil.
Brazil has added an estimated 16,000 flights during the World Cup. Travelers who have made accommodations in advance should not have difficulty booking their flights. A series of precautions ranging from extra snacks on airplanes to an increase of information distributed to passengers have been implemented by the airlines. “This is a fine adjustment of overall planning that had been done the operation of airports,” said Minister of Civil Aviation, Moreira Franco. “We cannot avoid pitfalls, but we must be prepared to respond to them so that passengers and delegations do not face difficulties,” he said.
Twenty seven Centers of Mobile Integrated Command and Control (CiCCM) have been implemented by the Special Secretariat of Security for Major Events (SESGE) that will assist Public Security to the World Cup. These mobile centers are trucks equipped with communications systems, video surveillance and an integrated intelligence platform for event management. Operators can view and monitor information in the case of an emergency situation and act on incidents that could affect airports, stadiums or other areas with large crowds.
The Brazilian government’s World Cup website (http://www.copa2014.gov.br/en/servicos) can be utilized by World Cup fans to plan routes, gather information on local services and estimate travel time to the stadium.
For business travelers headed to Brazil over the next three weeks, be prepared for complicated bookings, as hotels in the host cities are facing a significantly increased demand. It is likely that preferred corporate rates will not be honored in host cities on game days. The increase of visitors during the World Cup means that business travelers should expect longer wait times for taxis and car rentals, and should secure reservations before arrival. Working with an experienced corporate travel counselor with international travel expertise will ensure that travelers find the best accommodation and transportation options at the lowest possible rates during the event.
The Brazilian government has declared a national holiday each day Brazil’s national team plays a game in the World Cup. Be aware of the schedule, as business travelers should understand that there will be an increase of visitors and crowds on those days, creating transportation issues. Allow more time than usual to arrive at your destination.
All visitors to Brazil are recommended to store all valuables in a hotel safe and avoid displaying jewelry and electronics in order to avoid theft. Many businesses in Brazil accept credit cards, but will not accept US dollars. The Brazilian currency is the Real. One US dollar is currently equal to 2.22 Brazilian Reals. Before making any transactions, be sure of the intended method of payment is accepted. When making cash withdrawals from ATMs, travelers should be cautious of their surroundings as an increase of credit card fraud is expected during the World Cup. Use ATMs of national banks, located in well-lit areas, and be sure to collect all receipts before leaving.
The World Cup only comes around every 4 years, so if you plan to be in a host city during the tournament, attend a game! Purchase tickets in advance and be prepared to cheer on your favorite team with 50,000 other screaming fans.