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SBD Global/April 17, 2014/Events and Attractions

Rio Chiefs Meet To Discuss Hovercrafts For World Cup Tourist Transportation

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Rio de Janeiro "is eyeing a new way to bring World Cup tourists to the city from the airport: hovercraft," according to David Biller of BLOOMBERG. Rio state’s Tourism Secretary Claudio Magnavita met with Transport Secretary Tatiana Vaz Carius on April 13 "and discussed the idea." The state "would like at least two such boats that fit around 80 people each and could make about four trips an hour." Most visitors to Brazil’s largest tourism destination "will land at the Galeao airport on Governor’s Island in Guanabara Bay." They will putt along an often-clogged highway to the city center for as long as an hour, "with the Southern Zone’s beaches like Ipanema even farther off." While this pilot project would only move tourists for the World Cup, "boats could become a fixture following the monthlong tournament and boost transport options for tourists during the 2016 summer Olympics" (BLOOMBERG, 4/15).

BRAZIL DEFENDS SPENDING: The Brazilian government "has rejected claims that the pubic cost of staging this year's World Cup has impacted funding for health and education." In a speech to Brazil's congress on Tuesday, Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said that his portfolio's annual budget -- which includes World Cup projects -- "is less than one percent of that for health and education." Rebelo said, "There are those who compare investments in the World Cup with health and education, as if there has been a misuse of resources. This argument does not have any weight" (XINHUA, 4/16).

SOLAR SPONSOR: CHINA DAILY's Zhang Yuwei wrote when the World Cup kicks off in Brazil in June, China's Yingli Solar will join brands such as Budweiser, McDonald's and Johnson & Johnson -- "household names that usually sponsor international sporting events" -- and be the only Chinese and only renewable energy company sponsoring the games. Yingli is "the world's largest solar panel manufacturer." Yingli Solar, which established a Sao Paulo office in '11, "is one of many trying to tap into the renewable energy market in the Latin American region, where Chinese investment is on the rise" (CHINA DAILY, 4/16).
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