Saturday, November 23, 2013

Brazil: If You're Planning to Go to Rio de Janiero, Please Review Security Tips Under Comment

According to The Latin American Tribune, a total of $5.3 billion is to be invested in Brazil to build 422 new hotels through 2016, when Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympics, according to a study prepared by the BSH International consulting firm in conjunction with the Tourism Ministry.

The report, presented Thursday (November 21) by the Office of the Presidency, found that the new establishments will boost the country’s hotel capacity by 70,531 guestrooms.

That extra space will also provide accommodation for tourists visiting the various host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

The hotel growth will create nearly 34,000 new direct jobs, most of them in Brazil’s southeastern region, where Rio de Janeiro is located and the bulk of the planned investment--59%--will be concentrated.
Northeastern Brazil will receive 13% of the planned investment, while 11% will occur in the South region, 10% in the Central-West and 7% in the North (Amazon region).

Forty-two new hotels will be inaugurated in Belo Horizonte and 23 in Rio de Janeiro, both of which will be World Cup host cities.

By type, 158 of the new establishments will be “budget” hotels, the fastest-growing category, followed by “mid-scale” hotels, which have excellent services and installations (150), and those classified as “super-budget” (56).

The study predicts that 164 of the new hotels will begin operating next year, in time for the World Cup. Construction of these new establishments will create 14,000 jobs, the report said. 

COMMENT: A critical point: Regardless of whether you are planning to attend FIFA in 2014 or the Summer Olympics in 2016, please BOOK NOW, as official projections often fail to meet projections, for a variety of reasons.

Also, do keep in mind that crime in Rio de Janeiro has been rated as "Critical" threat by the US Department of State on the Department's four-level threat-level of: Critical (the highest rating); High; Medium; and Low.

This means that if you go to Rio, consider the following:

1.  Register your itinerary and where you're staying with your foreign affairs agency, if they provide such a service;

2. Enroll in international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before you leave home in the event you are injured or become ill,

To shop for coverage, go to: Such coverage normally runs $8-11 per day, but is priceless if you need medical attention, particularly if you need medical evacuation which can easily to $100,000 or more,

Finally, many medical providers in developing countries deny treatment to foreigners unless they can guarantee payment, so this coverage is essential;

3. Take no jewelry over $100 in value;

4. Book your accommodations at a four-or-five-star hotel if at all possible, as such hotels take very good care of their guests from a security standpoint;

5. Stay only in hotels that have a lobby-based, two-key safe deposit box system for your passport (carry a photocopy of your passport on your person), unneeded credit cards, cash, etc.;

6. NEVER use in-room combination safes, as they always have a "back-door" for staff members;

7. If you are not able to book reservations at a hotel in #2 above, please read my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD. To order, go to: For the next 60 days, we're offering this invaluable book @ 50% off!;

8. Wear an athletic sports watch ONLY, as no one will hold you up for it;

9.  Never carry more than $100 in cash and DO carry an ATM or debit card so you can withdraw cash in small amounts:

10. NEVER use an ATM installed on the street. Use only ATMs situated inside of a financial institution;

11. NEVER walk at night; ask your concierge for the name of a reputable taxi service;

12. Be observant of those around you as vulnerable-looking foreigners are often targeted by criminals in Rio; and

13. Always carry a mobile phone with you 24/7 and type in the the after-hours number of your consulate, the nearest hospital and the police emergency number, although if you are robbed or victimized, call your consulate FIRST; and

14. If you have any questions about traveling in Brazil, send me an email @: