Rio boosts hotel space for 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics

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The Independent Travel

Rio de Janeiro plans to expand its hotel space by one third to make room for an expected surge of visitors when Brazil hosts the World Cup of football in 2014 and Summer Olympics in 2016, a tourist official said Tuesday.

Municipal authorities in the Marvelous City, as Brazil's top tourist venue is dubbed, plans to build 9,000 new hotel rooms to add to its existing 28,000, the city's tourism secretary Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello told a press conference.

The official also highlighted Rio's efforts to stem endemic violence that spreads from the city's sprawling favelas (slums), and noted that in last month's Carnival there were 26 percent fewer tourist complaints about criminal activity than in 2009.

Figueira de Mello said Rio was also working to upgrade its public transport system and its port and airport facilities, as promised to the International Olympic Committee.