Brazil will face Croatia in the opening match of the 2014 Word Cup in Sao Paulo on June 12, while the US team battles Ghana in Natal in its first match on June 16. FIFA announced the World Cup draw today determining tournament match ups in 12 host cities across Brazil.
With the announcement of the draw, the Brazilian tourism board, Embratur, will work with airlines to release more domestic flights to World Cup cities to accommodate soccer fans traveling to Brazil to see their favorite teams. Airlines will have 15 days to present their new flight plans to the board and new fares will be determined shortly thereafter.
Throughout the tournament, teams will play in several cities, traveling to a new city as they advance in each round of play, which means plenty of chances for fans to see lots of Brazil. For example, the US team plays its first match in northeastern Brazil in the city of Natal, known for its beaches and surf culture. On June 22, Team USA moves west to Manaus, the capital of the steamy Amazon region, to play Portugal. Then, it’s back to the beach in Recife to face Germany on June 26.
World Cup travelers can find new flights and fares by searching airline booking sites or going directly to some domestic Brazilian airlines like TAM, GOL, Avianca and Azul.
Embratur says air travel will be a must during the World Cup, especially over long distances between places like Manaus in the north and Porto Alegre in the south, the equivalent of traveling between the East and West Coasts in the US.
“It will be a unique opportunity for tourists to discover even more attractions we are so proud of and want to showcase,” says Vincente Neto, Embratur’s special aide for major events.
“The 12 host cities showcase, with great ease, the variety and diversity of our country and I have no doubt that, regardless of which destination is chosen, tourists who visit Brazil will have a unique life-changing experience.”