RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian government expects tourists to inject 11.14 billion reals (3.52 billion U.S. dollars) in the country's economy in the Carnival holiday, the Tourism Ministry said on Thursday.
According to the Ministry, 10.6 million Brazilians are expected to travel to tourist destinations inside the country, and the number of foreign tourists during Carnival was estimated at 400,000. Tourism Minister Marx Beltrao said perspectives for the sector are very good.
"We expect to have the best Carnival in history for the tourism sector, as the estimates for the number of travelers and financial investments indicate. This is the result of work which has been done to better prepare Brazil's tourist destinations to receive domestic and foreign visitors, with improvements in infrastructure, services qualification and formalization of the sector," Minister Beltrao said.
The Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies expect sales of Carnival packages to rise 15 percent against the same period in 2017.
The cities of Rio, Salvador, Recife, Olinda, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte are expected to concentrate 65 percent of the investments in the period.
Rio only is expected to receive 1.5 million people during the Carnival holiday, and a total of 6.5 million people, both local and tourists, to participate in the party.
Financial transactions in Rio are expected to reach 3.5 billion reals (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the period, and hotel occupation is expected to reach 85 percent.
Salvador is expected to raise 1.7 billion reals (537.9 million U.S. dollars) with Carnival, receiving 770,000 tourists, 70,000 of them foreigners. Local authorities expect hotel occupation to reach 100 percent in the most important tourist areas, and 98 percent average.
Together, the cities of Recife and Olinda, both in Pernambuco state, are expected to host 1.7 million tourists and collect 1.2 billion reals (379 million U.S. dollars).