Ticket sales for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics have been lower than usual, organisers have said. The economic crisis in Brazil – the host country for both the games – is taking a toll on the number of spectators at the international multi-sport events.
The 2016 Summer Olympics will take place from 5 to 21 August in Rio de Janeiro, which will also host the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games between 7 and 18 September. According to organisers, while the best tickets for both games are selling quickly, overall sales are "a little lower".
The situation is worrying especially for the Paralympic Games, currently in its 15th edition. So far, only 300,000 domestic tickets have been sold out of three million for the Paralympics, the organisers said. For Olympics, about half of the 4.5 million tickets have been sold.
"We are a bit worried with the Paralympics," organising committee spokesman Mario Andrada told the Associated Press. "We have to educate, publicize. In the Paralympics we still need to show that Brazil will be fighting for the top five on the medal chart."
Amid Brazil's economic recession, Olympics and Paralympics organisers have cut down on expenses by about $500m (£353m) to balance the estimated operating budget of $1.85bn. They have also reduced the number of volunteers from 70,000 to 50,000, the report said.
Organisers are concerned about the medical needs of visitors as Rio de Janeiro's health care system faces financial crisis. A health sector emergency was declared in the Brazilian state in December as public hospitals were having limited services due to lack of proper funding to cover the cost of surgeries and key medical supplies.
Waste management would be yet another challenge for the organisers as the Summer Olympics and Paralympics open in Rio. About 315 tonnes of trash were cleared off the city's Copacabana beach following the New Year's Eve celebrations. Municipal workers said that cleaning the garbage was a practice for them to brace for heaps of waste that will be brought to the city during the games.