“We are not ready.” It is commonly known by locals and soon realized by visitors. Brazil is not ready for the World Cup. Not prepared for the number and needs of the masses coming for the Olympics.
The airports are the first thing you notice. Domestic terminals are often so much better than the international ones which barely handle a couple of flights. Then there are the roads, lack of major hotels, public transportation and most importantly tourist support.
It is interesting that in a country so rich in history there is little structure to tell those stories, let alone in various languages. The best tour was H. Stern, a private jewelry manufacturer and retailer. They tell their story well and monetize the experience.
There is no culture of maps so getting directions is difficult. Portuguese is the only language spoken in many areas, even tourist towns. Brazil could learn from many other countries how to structure tours and attractions, and improve their tourist offices.
Not only would this prepare Brazil for the major events, but this infrastructure for tourism would live beyond 2015, creating high value jobs for Brazilians and lots of opportunity for the young people that fuel this nation.
Education, jobs, and business opportunity all around telling the rich stories of their country and being the best host – both ideas that Brazilians value.