RIO DE JANIERO — Souvenirs and traveling go hand-in-hand, and that’s amplified at an event as grand as the World Cup. In Rio de Janeiro, the souvenir business is raking in big money for Brazil.
A stroll down Avenida Atlântica in Copacabana reveals a wealth of knick-knacks and souvenirs for tourists to buy during their World Cup trip to Rio de Janeiro.
If you can imagine it, it’s probably here.
Jewelry, whistles, jerseys, flags, and hats are on offer, as are face-painting, beer, and caipirinhas - even a pre-match massage.
But all of these small purchases add up to big business for Brazil. The government expects more than $3 billion to be spent throughout Brazil by foreign tourists during the World Cup.
Marcus Viera, who operates a small stand on a busy corner, said he can’t keep up with sales.
“Business has been terrific. So good that I’m having difficulty to find the merchandise to sell. The factories are sold out,” said Viera.
Crowds are lining up outside the FIFA-run shop at the Fan Fest location on Copacabana Beach. Authentic jerseys, stuffed animals - even wine - are all on sale; all of it stamped with the official World Cup logo.
Adi Filipovic, a Bosnian-American, said he just had to buy something.
“Look, you’re at this event. Everybody back home expects you to bring something back,” said Filipovic.
Others said the souvenirs brought an emotional attachment. Hiko Harada, from Japan, agreed.
“It’s kind of a memory. I want to bring back something with a memory of Brazil, [and] the World Cup,” said Harada.
Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for a World Cup souvenir, it can be found here in Copacabana. And tourists and locals alike are buying them up.