With celebrations set to kick off tomorrow in Brazil for the world’s most famous annual party, millions of tourists from around the globe are about to experience the vibrant parades and elaborate costumes of Carnival.
In defiance of the economic turmoil and political unrest that has marred the country’s image on the international stage in recent months, some regions are visitor numbers to “more than double” this year, in a much-needed boost to the nation’s tourism industry.
The biggest party will centre on Rio de Janeiro, and the city expects to welcome 920,000 tourists over the course of the long weekend.
Tomorrow around 75,000 spectators will be seated at the heart of the action in Rio’s Sambodrome, which every year hosts a spectacular opening ceremony to begin festivities.
The symbolic overseer of Latin American carnivals, King Momo, will be crowned by the city’s mayor before the start of the year’s first official samba parade.
According to the city’s tourism board, in Rio alone the Carnival will generate around BRL $2.2 billion (£570 million), three-quarters of which comes from tourists alone.