QR Codes to be Built into Rio de Janeiro Sidewalks to Help Tourists Get Around

Brazil has been gaining momentum as an international tourist hotspot for quite some time now, and in terms of technology, the implications of this have not been insignificant.

In Rio de Janeiro, city officials are implementing an innovative way to help tourists get around. The Washington Post reports that QR codes are being built into the city’s sidewalks, the first of which was revealed at Arpoador (a bolder on one of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches) last Friday. Upon scanning these QR codes with a mobile device, tourists are redirected to a website with information on the location and a map of the area as well.

Initially, the city will install 30 QR codes at popular tourist locales throughout Rio de Janeiro. The information provided regarding each site will be available in Portuguese, Spanish and English.

This is one of many measures Brazil is likely to take in reaction to an increased influx of foreign tourists (two million in 2012) and in preparation for the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games. Riotur, the body that executes and oversees tourism programs and policies in Rio de Janeiro, will lead the way, understanding that the city’s reputation is at stake in its handling of these world-class events.

Opportunity Abound

Brazil’s tourism boom is a prime opportunity for public and private entities alike. Let’s not forget that this isn’t the first time the Brazilian government has taken technology-related measures to render the country a more travel-friendly place. Take, for example, the interactive tourist app, Brasil Quest.

For startups and tech entrepreneurs, the opportunity represented by Brazil’s tourism industry is enormous. International businesses like Airbnb and Skyscanner stand to profit enormously from the Brazilian market, and even local daily deal powerhouse Peixe Urbano has taken aim at getting a piece of the travel pie. Countless tourism-related mobile applications have hit the market, too.

Entrepreneurs will want to make note of this latest QR code initiative and take some time out to consider what opportunities may arise from that.