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. Minister for Tourism Gastão Vieira says the government will make sure Rio hotels do not abuse prices, photo by Marcelo Camargo/ABr. 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). * The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens 6 Responses to "Brazil to Control Rio Hotel Rates: Daily" anthony February 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM I happened to stay in Rio de Janeiro during the Rio+20 and the hotel daily rates were unbelievably high. When I saw the price I realized there something must go wrong with the hotel industry in Rio de Janeiro. From my personal experience I couldn’t believe the local authority did take some feasible actions or the hotel industry was responsive to the advocate. The unbelievably high hotel rates prove the industry is out of the reach of the authority, even the high rates cause great loss to the local visitors coming to Rio de Janeiro. This year’s carnival the same story took place again. Every visitor (no matter domestic or foreign) has been complaining a lot about the shabby conditions of the hotel and particularly the high price, and what did the local authority do? To whom the blame shall be put? Dave February 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM Why should the government control or set hotel prices in any way? Hotels are a capitalistic business and if people are willing to pay the price to stay in the hotels what business is it of the government’s to say the prices are too high? If the prices were too high then people would not stay in these hotels, but they do, they remain filled 100 percent during these events. This is the basis of capitalism and show the strength of business, which is good for the growth of Brazil. If you lower the price, while still 100% full, then the business loses the opportunity to make more profit. The hotels do not invest their money to have their income limited by the government. Only a communistic society thinks the government should control the prices of commodities. And a hotel is simply a commodity. No where in the US, Canada or anywhere I know of in free European countries are the hotel prices controlled by the government. It’s a purely stupid idea to even think about. Pingback: Editorial: Águas de Março | The Rio Times | Brazil News Wern April 1, 2013 at 11:04 PM You are not quite right Dave. Hotels in Europe may set the price they want as a normal price, and another for weekends and high season. But it is banned in many countries to raise the price as much as they want to sky high prices on very special occasions. This is abusing its position, and illegal in much of the Western world. There is a great shortage of hotels in Rio, and the hotels are over priced. Rio needs more hotels not higher prices, it is good business with long term thinking! 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