July 31 2014 Latest news:
Andrew Fitchett, Reporter
Saturday, June 14, 2014
A travel specialist has said that England’s 10,000 travelling World Cup fans should ignore reports of violence and crime in Brazil, as they prepare for tonight’s first game against Italy.
Simon Williams, a tour operator with Norwich company Bespoke Brazil, said press reports were wide of the mark and that fans would be no more at threat in Brazil than at home.
“Brazil can be a dangerous country of course, but so can England,” said the 39-year-old. “The violence reported and played upon in the media happens mainly in areas that tourists would not go.
“The tourist areas of Brazil are well policed, and of course you do get pick pockets and occasional crimes but let me put it this way; I would rather be walking on Copacabana beach then I would walking down the Prince of Wales road in Norwich at 2am.”
A regular visitor to the South American country, Mr Williams is hoping that the World Cup will educate people to look beyond the negative reports and see “the beauty of the country”.
“It is a huge country and hopefully the World Cup will help educate and show people that there is more to the country than just Rio, because Rio is the size of London and Brazil is the nearly the size of Europe and hopefully the World Cup will highlight this.
“Having said that, Rio is a fantastic city, and if you go to the top of the statue of Christ the Redeemer, you will think it is the most beautiful city on the world.
“It’s also the best place in the world to see wildlife. TripAdvisor named Baia do Sancho, on the island of Fernado de Noronha, the world’s best beach. There are 5,000 miles of coastline and there is so much history, influences from Italian and German migration to cultures influenced from 18th century slavery.”