Rio de Janeiro hotels virtually full for Carnival
Mar 4, 2011, 16:28 GMT
Rio de Janeiro - The average occupancy rate in Rio de Janeiro's hotels reached 95 per cent Friday, ahead of the city's world-famous Carnival.
The Brazilian Hotel Association said occupancy was as high as 99 per cent in hotels in the city centre and other neighbourhoods near the Sambadrome, the purpose-built stadium where the city's samba schools are set to compete late Sunday and Monday.
Along the elegant beaches of the neighbourhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, 95-97 per cent of the rooms were taken.
Further, a survey conducted by city authorities indicates that an unusually high number of locals, 73 per cent, intend to stay in the city for Carnival this year.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said this was due to an increase in street parties and informal Carnival groups, who tour neighbourhoods over the four days of Carnival celebrations ending early Wednesday.
'There was a time when people who did not have tickets for the parade of the samba schools left Rio. Now, with the 'blocos' (more informal Carnival groups) on several streets and with the parties, Carnival in the city is unmissable,' Paes said.
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