By Nick Butler

Vicente Neto is the new President of the Brazilian Tourism Institute ahead of the FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 ©EmbraturVicente Neto will enjoy a baptism of fire after taking over as President of the Brazilian Tourist Institute, Embratur, with less than a month to go until the beginning of the FIFA World Cup.

It comes at a vital time for the organisation less than a month ahead of the opening of the World Cup on June 12, and on the same day it was forecast that tourist spending may exceed $3 billion (£1.78 billion/€2.18 billion) for the month-long tournament.

Neto, who was appointed on April 30 but began his new role today, previously served as a special advisor to former President Flávio Dino, who left the post to run for the Government of Maranhão in the Brazilian elections in October.

Born in Bahia in the east of the country, Neto holds a degree in law and a post-graduate degree in management, and previously worked at the Federal University in his home city.

He then became national secretary for sport, education, leisure and social inclusion, after having held the position of chief of staff within the Ministry of Sport.

The 48-year-old was also secretary for culture, sport and leisure for the Municipal Government of Lauro de Freitas and secretary for Urban Planning and Economic Development for São Sebastião do Passé.

Vicente Neto, second left, alongside Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and football legends Pele and Cafu in 2013 ©AFP/Getty ImagesVicente Neto, second left, alongside Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and football legends Pele and Cafu in 2013 ©AFP/Getty Images

Neto's appointment was unveiled in a special ceremony today at the Brasilia headquarters where the Minister of Tourism, Vinicius Lages, was also present.

The duo insisted that the primary short-term aim is to use the World Cup to enhance Brazil's gross domestic product and to make sure all the tourists making the journey to Brazil are welcomed, with security concerns a likely particular area of focus.

In the longer term, ensuring similar success at Rio 2016 is sure to be a major issue, following recent criticism over multiple aspects of preparations, which may have clouded enthusiasm among potential tourists considering making the trip.

In the worst case, International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates claimed preparations are the worst he has ever seen in his long association with the Games. 

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