In an attempt to “break” Rio de Janeiro “negative image,” the city’s mayor-elect Marcelo Crivella, has proposed the tax intended to raise money that can be used to compensate the visitors that have been raided at any point in their stay, the New York Times reported.
Crivella “bold proposal,” which could result in a new tax on incoming travellers, is met with a significant backlash.
While Rio has experienced a historic amount of crime on the street this year, with an eye-popping 8,000 robberies reported in June 2016 only — more than twice the amount in June 2015, per the Telegraph — some opponents feel the tax would ultimately put the tourists to the popular Brazilian destination.
“The advantage of such a tax does not make sense, unless the goal is to discourage tourism in Rio de Janeiro,” the global tourism industry scholar Mario Beni told the Times.
In essence, tourists visiting Rio would need to pay itself back through the load.
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“I was in the room when he proposed the idea,” Alfredo Lopes, president of Rio’s Hotel Association, told the Times. “The first thing that came to mind is, ‘If you are going to charge tourists, then as a citizen of Rio, I want my reparations, too.'”
The AMERICAN Ministry of foreign affairs recognizes Rio’s high crime rate, but has stopped the issuing of a travel warning or alert.
“The city continues to experience high number of cases of crime, including armed robberies,” the department states on its website. “While criminal activity is more common in certain areas, there is no area in Rio that is immune.”
“The tourists are particularly vulnerable to street thefts and robberies in the evening and night especially in areas adjacent to major tourist attractions,” it added. “If robbed, do not try to resist or fight back, but rather relinquish your personal belongings.”
The latest travel advice for Brazil from the U. K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warns that “levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in the big cities.”
“You should be particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods,” the FCO advises.