Australia has 409 athletes from 26 sports selected to compete at Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games, and this year will mark 120 years of Australia’s best of the best participating in the global competition.
If you are lucky enough to be heading over to Rio, Claudio Saita, Deputy CEO and Executive Director in Australia for Tokyo Marine (underwriters for World2Cover travel insurance), says that while the Games will be great fun, visitors should remember crime has no address.
“Aussies are set to get plenty of bang for buck this August as the dollar has made huge gains against the Brazilian Real these past 12 months. Combined with savings on the waived tourist visa for Aussies visiting between June and September, it’s easier than ever for visitors to explore one of the most exciting cities on the planet,” he said. “However, the country also has high levels of serious and violent crime, particularly in major cities such as Rio. Preparation and a degree of caution are key to helping ensure you’re not a target at a hotly anticipated event, like the Olympics. If you’re ever in need of help then you should remember these three emergency phone contact numbers: 190 for policia (police), 192 for ambulancia (ambulance), and 193 for bombers (fire department).”
To help maximise the Olympic experience, the team at World2Cover has provided these top tips for Rio-bound Aussies:
Money: ATM’s are easy to find in Rio but often unreliable and close between 10pm‐6am for security purposes. You should check with your local bank whether they have an affiliate in Brazil and ask them where your card will work in the city. Try to take at least two credit, debit or travel money cards with you and store them separately, that way you will always have a backup in the event one goes missing.
Safety: Tourists can be targeted by thieves during large events which see cities swell with newcomers, and indeed 7.5 million international supporters are set to descend on Brazil for the Games. To help stay off their radar, dress down, avoid wearing flashy jewellery and carry minimal cash and credit cards. If you are attacked, do not resist as thieves are often armed and you could be seriously injured. Your safety is more important than your belongings.
Security: Keep your passport safe as criminals may try to steal or use your identity to commit other crimes. If it does get lost or stolen, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible. To find out more, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, and be sure to log your upcoming trip and contact details via Smartraveller.gov.au before you leave.
Health: Due to the recent outbreak of Zika Virus, pregnant women are advised to avoid the Games this year. Although less is more in Brazil, try to keep your arms and legs covered when outside to deter mosquitos and apply an EPA‐registered insect repellent on clothing as well as exposed skin. To keep cool, consider using air conditioning when available instead of opening windows to help keep mozzies out.
Protests: Anti‐government protests can happen at any time across Brazil with little or no warning. Try to avoid these as they have been known to turn violent and authorities are known to use tear gas and other control measures to disperse protesters. Keep an eye on local media for information about rallies and follow police instructions if you do get caught up.
Travel Insurance: Make sure you’re not just covered for the Games, but for the full duration of your trip which includes the days you leave and return to your home address. Hang gliding, biking and sailing are some of the top activities in Rio so make sure you’re fully covered for any adventure sports you may wish to try whilst there.
Mr Saita said that World2Cover’s policies are available to Australian travellers and have been created to deliver affordable and flexible cover.
“World2Cover offers protection from the moment you buy, covering cancellation fees and lost deposits. Our comprehensive cover is available to all Australian travellers, delivering peace of mind, a simple claims process and customer service which reflects the company’s philosophy of Omotenashi, the spirit of Japanese hospitality.”
1. 2016 Australian Olympic Team
2. STA Travel
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