Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Fri November 20 2015

Americans Already Leading 2016 Olympic Games - In Ticket Purchases

Destination & Tourism | Brian Major | November 20, 2015

Americans Already Leading 2016 Olympic Games - In Ticket Purchases

PHOTO: Americans have purchased 88,100 tickets to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. (Photo courtesy of Embratur).

It’s safe to say American travelers will be well-represented at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. Americans have purchased the largest number of tickets for the games, said Brazilian Ministry of Tourism and Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur) officials Thursday. 

To date, Americans have purchased 88,100 tickets, followed by citizens of France (54,600) and Germany (42,000). Of the 2.4 million tickets sold, 600,000 tickets were purchased by overseas fans, the agencies reported.

In a statement, officials at Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism and Embratur cited initiatives designed to compel a vote on a Brazilian bill to provide visa waivers for U.S and Canadian citizens to enter Brazil during next year’s event. “The measure is part of a bill that was passed in Congress and is currently waiting presidential approval,” the officials said.

Earlier this year, Embratur published a list of authorized ticket resellers through which U.S. resident and fans outside of Brazil could purchase tickets. The most popular sports in terms of ticket requests have been volleyball, football and basketball. Embratur officials say 7.5 million tickets will be available to fans with more than half priced at $22 or less.

Buoyed by the country’s successful hosting of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, which bought one million visitors to the country and energized its campaign to expand travel to the destination, the Ministry of Tourism and Embratur have implemented several programs to promote the Games in Rio.

“The Olympic Games were cited as motivation to return to Brazil by 65 percent of World Cup tourists,” said Henrique Alves, Brazil’s tourism minister.

“The World Cup left a great legacy to strengthen the infrastructure with improvements in airports, urban mobility in the host cities [and] the integration of public agencies,” said Alves.  The improvements include $663.8 million in new hotel and resort projects. “All these investments create a favorable ground for the 2016 Olympics,” said Alves. 

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