By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian government has said it will monitor daily hotel rates during the FIFA Confederations Cup, which starts this June and is the first in a series of major sporting events to be held in Rio. The goal is to make sure hotels do not take advantage of the events to increase their prices to prohibitive levels for tourists, it has been announced.
The Minister for Tourism, Gaston Vieira, said that successful trial monitoring was conducted during last year’s Rio+20 Summit and that he would guarantee that hotels would not “abuse prices” during the upcoming sporting events.
“Starting now, we are going to control the daily [hotel] prices together – both the government and Embratur [the Brazilian Tourist Board] and owners and industry members,” Vieira said, after telling Congress he hoped the hotel industry would do its part to control prices.
The government has already held talks with hotel owners and other industry representatives and says it hopes such dialogue will avoid the need for punitive measures or other interventions.
Vieira also said the government has been attempting to contend with airline ticket prices by making sure airline offer more seats, and mentioned the possibility that a permanent committee could be created to develop effective legislation to improve tourism in the country, which, he said, remains “too expensive.”
A new consulting firm – called Mise En Place – was recently launched in Rio to help the hotel industry prepare for the demands of hosting the mega-events, both in terms of developing new properties and improving existing operations to meet international service standards.
The Rio+20 Summit, attended by top-level diplomats and world leaders, was seen by many as a “test run” for the upcoming mega-events and has allowed the government to pinpoint areas that might fall short of visitors’ expectations. This year’s hosting of the Confederations Cup will also allow Brazil to iron out remaining problems and so allow next year’s World Cup and 2016’s Olympic Games to run as smoothly as possible.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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