Brazil wins on hospitality, loses on traffic: Report
Rio de Janeiro: Foreign World Cup tourists say they are impressed with the hospitality of their host country despite finding fault with services and transport, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported Sunday.
Reporters from the daily compiled the results of straw polls taken in the tournament`s 12 cities, which are welcoming some 600,000 visitors from abroad.
Chaotic traffic, poor public transport, outdated airport infrastructure and a lack of multilingual tourist information brought a multitude of moans.
But foreign fans were unanimous in praising Brazilian friendliness and hospitality, O Globo said.
Tourists arriving in Rio de Janeiro -- host to seven games starting with Sunday`s Argentina-Bosnia tussle -- complained of escalators and elevators not working at the city`s international airport.
In the northeastern city of Fortaleza, few restaurants provided menus in languages other than Portuguese, leaving waiters to gesture. The tactic is commonplace in Brazil, where many people do not speak English.
In another northeastern city, Recife, tourist feedback suggested the language skills of airport staff were likewise lacking -- though O Globo said plenty of tourist information was on hand in maps and multilingual pamphlets.
However hotels and restaurants in the business center of Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million well used to hosting tourists, won praise.
Nonetheless some complained about poor phone coverage on occasion at the Corinthians Arena, which hosted Thursday`s opener between Brazil and Croatia.
In Salvador on the northeast coast, many visitors complained about huge traffic jams, with 15-minute trips taking nearer an hour.
Brazil`s reputation as being an expensive destination surfaced notably in the capital, Brasilia, where some tourists blasted prices as "more expensive than Miami," according to O Globo.