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New Year's Eve party draws over 700000 tourists to Rio – Brazil
New Year's Eve party draws over 700000 tourists to Rio – Brazil avatar

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The Reveillon, the traditional New Year's Eve bash in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, drew 707,000 tourists, of whom 93,000 were foreign visitors, to iconic Copacabana Beach, the Culture Ministry said Wednesday.

The total visitor figure was up 11.4 percent on New Year's Eve 2017, compared to the previous year, the ministry said, citing a report prepared by the private Getulio Vargas Foundation.

"Rio de Janeiro Reveillon was the biggest party of the year in Brazil" and continues to be the city's No. 2 annual event, after Carnaval, the ministry said in a post on social media.

Of the 2.4 million people who flocked to Copacabana to celebrate the arrival of 2018, nearly one-third, or 707,000, were tourists, the report said.

The tourist figure breaks down to 478,000 Brazilians, 93,000 foreigners and 136,000 other visitors, the majority of them Brazilian cruise ship passengers, who were on shore excursions.

Tourists pushed the hotel occupancy rate to 98 percent in Rio de Janeiro, which tripled its hotel rooms from about 20,000 a decade ago to 58,000 today to cope with the large number of visitors who attended the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The main attraction at the Reveillon was a fireworks show that featured 25 tons of pyrotechnics and lasted 17 minutes, lighting up the skies above Rio de Janeiro in vivid colors as 2018 arrived.

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