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Bolivia seeks Dakar Rally to boost tourism

Updated: 2014-01-06 10:34
( Xinhua)

LA PAZ - Bolivian government official on Sunday said that the Dakar Rally, which started on Sunday in Rosario, Argentina, is expected to boost Bolivia as an international "important tourism destination".

In a press conference held in La Paz, Pablo Groux, Minister of Culture, explained that the government is eager to see what the Dakar Rally will bring to Bolivia, adding that hosting the rally "is a special challenge in the history of the country".

Groux said one of the benefits of hosting the rally, in the short term, is "the promotion of the 'country brand' as the Dakar's official video was filmed in Uyuni and people are talking of Bolivia as an important tourism destination".

The minister said that some 100,000 people will move along the Bolivian route lodging and eating in Bolivia, which will bring economic benefits to the country.

Another benefit of hosting the rally, Groux said, coincides with the government's will to promote the country.

The minister said that the government paid $2 million for the right to use Dakar trademark and that there is a current 70-million dollar investment to improve services and infrastructure.