News from Brazil

Culture & Regional

In Brazil on January 14, 2011 at 10:23 am

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

Render of the Boulevard Mall and Tower inaugurated at the end of last year in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.

TRAVEL

As anyone familiar with overland travel in Brazil can attest, bus stations can be pretty rough going. With this in mind, expats and Brazil enthusiasts Jonathan Flynn and Jane Bell started Cruz the Coast, a transport service between Rio and Salvador that provides backpackers and independent travelers with a safe, convenient and fun alternative to the standard stresses of getting from A to B (The Rio Times).

The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro city signed a financing agreement worth R$ 1.2 billion to implement the Transcarioca Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which will connect Barra da Tijuca in the West Zone to the International Airport (Aeroporto Internacional do Galeão), in the North Zone (BNDES).

Whilst Brazil’s famed cities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador have been the most popular ports of call for foreign tourists, a shift is beginning to occur. Within tougher economic times, independent travelers want more for their money, so it is no surprise that one of the key travel trends for 2011 is ‘off the beaten track’ (The Rio Times).

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RIO

Rescue workers struggled to reach areas cut off by devastating floods and landslides that have killed at least 500 people in one of Brazil’s worst natural disasters in decades (MercoPress).

President Rousseff and Rio Governador Cabral (Picture source).

President Dilma Rousseff and recent two-term president Lula, both affiliated with the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT, Workers’ Party) have been maintaining an effective political alliance with the governor of Rio state Sérgio Cabral and the mayor of the city, Eduardo Paes, both of Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (PMDB, Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) (The Rio Times).

The hotel chain of the state of Rio receives investments from the business segment and it is beginning to expand to the Baixada Fluminense area and other cities of the “oil route” (India-Brazil Chamber).

Brazil Hospitality Group signed a contract for the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Brascan Imobiliaria Hotelaria e Turismo S.A., which is the sole owner of the building located at Avenida Prefeito Mendes de Morais 222, Sao Conrado, Rio de Janeiro, currently known as “Hotel Intercontinental.” With this purchase, BHG S.A. adds a major hotel to its portfolio, just 15 days after the company’s entry into the northern region of Brazil with the simultaneous acquisition of two hotels in the city of Belem (BW).

The City of Rio de Janeiro and State University of Rio de Janeiro created the project Geographical Tours of Rio that promotes free walking in the Downtown area during the day and evening, and in other places such as the neighborhoods Glória, Catete, Flamengo and Copacabana. The project aims to know the geography, history, architecture, religion, arts and culture, apart from the life of the city revealing its intricacies, genesis, expansion, symbology and metamorphoses (Rio Official Guide).

After more than 25 years, Help Discotheque, a notorious symbol of prostitution in Rio, closed its doors after the Prefeitura (local government) initiated the process in 2008. The prime location along Copacabana Beach will transform into a new landmark, the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS, picture), and planned to be completed in the end of 2012 (The Rio Times).

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