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Rio 2016 ticket sales slow as Brazilians lose interest

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Two weeks before the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games there are still plenty of tickets available, a spokesperson for the Games told dpa Thursday.

Organizers have only sold 72 per cent of tickets available for the athletic event - 4.4 million out of a total of 6.1 million up for sale.

They launched a new bid Thursday to sell another 100,000 tickets for a range of events at the premier international athletic tournament, which runs August 5-21.

Income from ticket sales so far totals 978 million reales (300 million dollars), 93 per cent of what the Rio 2016 organizing committee hoped to net.

Opinion polls show Brazilians‘ interest in the Games has taken a nosedive recently. More than half of Brazilians "have no interest" in the Olympics, according to polling group Datafolha, up from 29 per cent in June 2013.

The poll found half of Brazilians are opposed entirely to the Games, which will cost more than 11.8 billion dollars. About 60 per cent of the cost will be financed by the private sector.

The Brazilian tourism office Embratur expects between 300,000 and 500,000 foreign visitors in Rio de Janeiro for the first Olympics in South America. Hotel reservations for the Games represent 90 per cent of capacity, according to Embratur.

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