Copacabana expects 3 million tourists for New Year

Rio de Janeiro expects three million people to attend New Year's festivities at the Copacabana beach, a spokesman for the Brazilian city said on Wednesday.

In previous years, there have been around two million people watching the fireworks at the beach, almost all dressed in white, as tradition dictates.

"We believe that there will be three million people," Mr Marcelo Alves, the head of the municipal tourism agency Riotur, said at a news conference.

The city council said that about 1,000 policemen have been mobilised for the celebrations, and the Rio state government earlier announced that leave for 2,000 military police had been cancelled to reinforce security for end-of-the-year celebrations.

Despite violence and financial problems plaguing the city, Riotur expects it to receive 2.7 million tourists for New Year's, which would inject some 2 billion reais (S$807 million) into the economy. - AFP