Brazil turns to apps and games to showcase unknown cities to the world

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The Brazil Quest game by Brazilian tourism body Embratur
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The Brazil Quest game by Brazilian tourism body Embratur

Brazil Tourism Board has kicked off an interactive marketing campaign ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as it tries to raise its profile as a viable tourist option.

In a bid to familiarize travelers with the 12 host cities of the 2014 World Cup, a new 'Brazil Quest' app for  iPhone, iPad and Android to be released March 23 'gamifies' travel to each of them.

The game follows the adventures of an alien called YEP, who visits Brazil in search of happiness and becomes enchanted with the country, according to the tourism board.

In tandem, Brazilian authorities have released a new website which provides information on the major World Cup host cities and is also themed around football.

The site, which can be found at http://www.brasilnetwork.tur.br/worldcup/, allows users to research each cities, view maps and pictures, see videos, get free tourist information on sights and nearby attractions and leave comments for other travelers.

Two major sporting events are likely to considerably boost the international tourism profile of Brazil, which historically suffers from one major problem -- although images of Rio de Janiero are abundant, the average tourist has very little idea of what else South America's largest country has to offer.

That means that many of the cities hosting games, such as Recife, Porto Alegre, Hatal, Manaud and Fortaleza will be unheard of to many tourists, potentially resulting in them struggling to attract the hordes of tourists Brazilian authorities are hoping for.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, Brazil is the 42nd most visited nation in the world.

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