Rio unveils Wall of Champions as Brazil reveals record tourist boost from 2016 Games

The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism has confirmed that the Olympic Games Rio 2016 helped the country achieve record tourism figures last year. Over the 12 months, Brazil welcomed 6.6 million foreign tourists, which represents a 4.8% increase on the previous year. In terms of revenue generated by tourism in 2016, the total was US$ 6.2 billion, an increase of 6.2% on the previous year. 

Rio unveils Wall of Champions as Brazil reveals record tourist boost from 2016 Games
© Cidade Olimpica

“The numbers are extremely positive,” said Brazil’s Minister of Tourism Marx Beltrão. “There is still plenty of progress to be made, but we have shown ourselves able to take advantage of the mega events that we staged in Brazil. However, we still have a lot to do to show we can benefit effectively from the legacy of the Games.”

Marx noted that the Games had helped raise Brazil’s profile hugely, but added that the country now had to work hard to ensure that it maintained that position and capitalise fully on its potential as a tourist destination on a regular basis.

Wall of Champions

Meanwhile, on 23 December, Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes unveiled the Rio 2016 Wall of Champions, which includes the names of each of the 2,568 athletes who won medals in last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The curved wall comprises 10 steel panels and features an 8.5cm stainless steel reproduction medal for each of the athletes or teams that featured on the podium in Rio.

At the unveiling ceremony it was also confirmed that the administration of various venues from the Rio 2016 Games would henceforth be transferred to the federal government, including the Carioca 1 and 2 arenas, the Olympic Tennis Centre and the Velodrome. However, the Carioca 3 Arena will remain under the control of the city authorities, who have plans to transform it into an Olympic school, with capacity for 1,000 pupils.