By David Owen

Tourist spending could exceed $3 billion during the World Cup, but that accounts for just over 0.1 per cent of Brazil's gross domestic product ©Getty ImagesWorld Cup tourist spending in Brazil in June and July may exceed $3 billion (£1.78 billion/€2.18 billion), the Brazilian Government has forecast.

In the latest of a series of announcements that appear designed, in part, to convince ordinary Brazilians that staging sports mega-events is a good investment for South America's biggest country, the Ministry of Tourism unveiled research findings suggesting that foreign tourists would spend nearly $2,500 (£1,490/€1,822) each, excluding airfares, during their stay.

The number of Brazilian and foreign tourists expected to travel to World Cup locations for matches and FIFA Fan Fests was estimated at 1.9 million, with expected direct spending put at $1.83 billion (£1.09 billion/€1.33 billion).

A further 1.8 million visitors are expected to be in Brazil for festivities linked to the World Cup.

These individuals are expected to spend a further $1.19 billion (£709 million/€867 million).

Tourism Minister Vinicius Lages argued, moreover, that total financial turnover for tourism during the World Cup might be more than double the anticipated figure, "if we consider the multiplier effect of these resources in the Brazilian economy".

He went on: "Tourists who come to the matches are the visitors who spend the most.

"This is an important audience, and we want to win them over during the World Cup."

Brazil's Tourism Minister, Vinicius Lages, has spoken of the financial benefit he believes the country will enjoy by staging the World Cup ©AFP/Getty ImagesBrazil's Tourism Minister, Vinicius Lages, has spoken of the financial benefit he believes the country will enjoy by staging the World Cup ©AFP/Getty Images

The Ministry anticipates that 300,000 foreign tourists will come to Brazil specifically for the World Cup.

While the $3 billion total makes an eye-catching headline, however, it amounts to little more than 0.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), based on a 2012 figure of well over $2.4 trillion (£1.43 trillion/€1.74 trillion).

Since it includes spending by Brazilians, most of who would have spent some money in Brazil whether or not the World Cup was on, one also wonders whether it is all incremental.

The projections are said to take into consideration the average spending of tourists at last year's Confederations Cup test event, which was marred by street demonstrations, and the proportion of people intending to stay with relatives and friends during the World Cup.

The base for projections was a survey conducted by the Tourism Ministry in partnership with the Economic Research Institute Foundation.

Brazil will also host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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