International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven is confident all tickets for the Rio 2016 Paralympics will be sold with 100 days-to-go, despite only a third of a revised sales figure having been bought to date.
Initially a total of 3.1 million tickets had been available for the Paralympic Games, with Rio 2016 revealing in March that only 10 per cent of that figure had been sold.
Organisers had admitted that they had not done enough to sell the tickets, but launched a promotional and educational campaign in Brazil in an effort to drive interest in the Games.
With 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Games, Sir Philip told insidethegames that there is now a revised sales target of 2.5 million tickets and believes the promotional campaign had made a difference in boosting sales.
“The revised total sales figure is primarily since the venues have been completed and all the camera angles have been put in,” he said.
“I think there are a few pillars in positions were people hadn’t expected there to be.
“A third of those have been sold and ticket sales have been rising since the Olympic Torch arrived in Brazil and that is exactly what happened in London.
“There is 1.4 million still to sell and we are expecting to sell those tickets.
“Two or three months ago there was this need for an educational campaign, particularly to do with the cost of the Paralympic tickets but also the great performances that we will see.”
Sir Philip also believes the Games will be able to continue the momentum of the last two Summer Paralympics in Beijing and London.
The Briton believes the strength of the Brazilian team will be key to engaging the public further in the Games and remains confident of reaching the target of a cumulative audience of four billion people for the first time.
While improvements have taken place across the city to improve accessibility for disabled people, Sir Philip expects the major changes to occur after the Games and will act as a key legacy of the Paralympics.
“It is the first time the Games have been in Latin America and it is not something that Rio and Brazil have been used to before,” he said.
“Progress has been made, but I think what we are going to see like we did in Barcelona that the massive improvement will come post the Games.
“When I went back to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Barcelona Games in 2002, the city was absolutely transformed and you could go anywhere.
“That is what we expect will happen in Rio, but it will take time."